Ongoing Volcanic Eruption in Canary Islands Disrupts Flights — See the Footage

·2 min read

An erupting volcano on Spain's Canary Islands — which boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world — disrupted flights over the weekend, closing down the airport and forcing workers to use umbrellas to protect themselves from falling ash.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma, on 27th September in Las Manchas, La Palma, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
The Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma, on 27th September in Las Manchas, La Palma, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Kike Rincon/Europa Press/Getty Images

By Sunday, the airport on the island of La Palma had reopened after crews cleared the runway of ash, Reuters reported, but flights had remained on pause.

On Monday, volcanic activity had decreased with officials taking a wait-and-see approach, The Associated Press reported. But Binter, the Canary Islands airline, said flights were still not possible.

"Binter informs that it is forced to temporarily paralyze operations with La Palma again after trying to make a first flight today and verifying that the necessary conditions to guarantee safety are not met if connections are resumed," the airline wrote in a statement on Monday. "The airline will try to recover operations tomorrow if... authorities confirm that favorable conditions exist."

Over the weekend, stranded travelers unable to get a flight off the island lined up at the port, hoping to board a boat. Ferry operator Fred Olsen Express has said it would add an extra round trip journey between La Palma and Tenerife through at least Wednesday, Reuters reported.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano resumes its activity after a short period of inactivity in Los Llanos de Aridane on the Canary island of La Palma on September 27, 2021
The Cumbre Vieja volcano resumes its activity after a short period of inactivity in Los Llanos de Aridane on the Canary island of La Palma on September 27, 2021

Desiree Martin/Getty Images The Cumbre Vieja volcano resumes its activity after a short period of inactivity in Los Llanos de Aridane on the Canary island of La Palma on September 27, 2021 - A Canary Islands volcano that has been erupting for over a week fell silent for some hours today as coastal residents were confined over toxic gas fears when the lava hits the sea. La Cumbre Vieja, which straddles a southern ridge in La Palma in the Atlantic archipelago, erupted on September 19, spewing out rivers of lava which have slowly crept towards the sea.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano first started erupting last week, Spain's first volcanic eruption on land in half a century, according to the AP. So far, it has buried more than 500 buildings and displaced more than 6,000 people.

While activity may have lessened, residents are being advised to stay inside to avoid potential toxic gases that could occur when lava at more than 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 Fahrenheit) meets the much cooler Atlantic Ocean water.

The La Palma eruption has been destructive, but no fatalities or serious injuries have been reported, according to the AP.

This isn't the first time volcanic activity has disrupted flights. In 2010, a volcanic eruption in Iceland halted flights throughout Europe.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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