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Reopening of the airport, after closure due to ash

The airport on the Spanish island of La Palma, in the Canary archipelago, reopened on Saturday after having to close for 48 hours due to ash from the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano. The thick cloud of ash had forced the authorities to close the airport Thursday morning, to clean the runways, for the second time since the volcano erupted on September 19.

“La Palma airport is operational again,” assured the Spanish airport authority AENA in a tweet, adding that the cleaning was continuing and without specifying when flights would resume. For its part, the regional company Binter “analyzes” the situation and hopes to be able to resume its flights “in the coming hours”, a spokesperson told AFP. The ash spat by the volcano had already caused the closure of the airport on September 25. If its manager reopened it the next day, the companies had resumed their flights only four days later.

Nearly 500 hectares ravaged by lava flows

The eruption of Cumbre Vieja, which has lasted for nearly three weeks, left no deaths or injuries, but it resulted in the evacuation of more than 6,000 people, some of whom lost everything under the lava flows, which caused ravaged 480 hectares. Earlier on Saturday, “it seems that part of the cone” of the volcano “collapsed”, “paving the way for two new lava flows,” volcanologist Stavros Meletlidis of the Institute told RNE radio. Spanish National Geographic (IGN). These new flows are heading towards an industrial area of ​​the island, where there are warehouses and businesses, according to the radio.

According to the latest photos from the European Copernicus geospatial measurement system, taken before the collapse, lava covered more than 480 hectares of land and destroyed at least 1,149 buildings – not all of which are homes. It has also caused great damage to banana plantations, the main activity, along with tourism, of this small island of 85,000 inhabitants of the Canary Islands archipelago, located west of the coast of Morocco. “The recent lava flows have mainly damaged agricultural areas, 120 hectares of crops in total, half of which are banana plantations,” the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca) said on Friday.

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