Around 5,000 people have been evacuated after the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma erupted on Sunday.
A huge black and white column of smoke rises from the volcano and flames light up the night. The lava has already reached some residential buildings and made several roads impassable.
Evacuation is mandatory in a dozen places, including the main settlement of El Paso, on the sparsely populated south coast of the island where lava from the volcano is on its way.
It was Sunday at 16.12 the eruption took place in the mountain Rajada which lies along the volcanic ridge Cumbre Vieja.
The lava has a temperature of 1000 degrees and moves around 700 meters per hour, according to the Institute of Volcanology in the Canary Islands.
The eruption came after a week of seismic activity that culminated in an earthquake that could be felt well on Sunday. It is 50 years since the volcano last erupted.
“People are asked to be extremely careful and stay away from the area around the crater to avoid unnecessary risk,” local authorities said in a statement.
The Norwegian embassy in Spain wrote on Facebook on Sunday that they recommend Norwegians in the area to follow national advice and register on travel registration, so that it is easier for the Foreign Service to get in touch in a crisis situation.
It is unclear how many Norwegians are on the island, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
La Palma is one of the smaller Canary Islands and is located furthest west in the archipelago, but is not normally an important tourist destination. It has around 83,000 inhabitants, of which 35,000 live in areas not far from the volcano.
According to volcanologist Joan Marti, director of the institute Geociencias Barcelona, the eruption can last for several weeks, and at most up to several months, reports The country.
The researcher simultaneously categorizes the outbreak as “normal” compared to historical eruptions in the Canary Islands.
However, he says that the worst thing about the eruption will probably be that dangerous gases can come up with the magma, which in turn can lead to breathing problems for people.