La Palma workers hang Xmas messages of 'unity'

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No seismic activity has been registered since late on Monday (December 13), fuelling optimism the longest eruption in La Palma's recorded history could be declared over in time for Christmas.

Around 24,500 residents in Los Llanos de Aridane, El Paso, and Tazacorte - a third of La Palma's inhabitants - were affected by emissions of sulfur dioxide during the eruption, causing temporary lockdowns.

Houses from Los Llanos de Aridane have been buried by volcanic ashes and molten rocks.

Authorities on the island allowed evacuated residents to return to their homes in the exclusion zone to clear their ash-covered houses on Thursday (December 16), but many are still displaced and living with relatives or in caravans.

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