Cumbre Vieja volcano erupts in Spain's Canary Islands

Sept. 19 (UPI) -- The Cumbre Vieja volcano in Spain's Canary Islands erupted Sunday, officials announced.

The Canary Islands Volcanology Institute, or Involcan, tweeted that the eruption took place on the island of La Palma at 3:24 p.m., sharing video of a large plume of smoke emerging from the volcano.

Involcan warned members of the public to avoid the area.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez postponed a trip to New York for the United Nations General Assembly to travel to the island in response to the eruption.

"I am at the moment heading to the Canary Islands because of the seismic evolution, to see firsthand the situation in La Palma, the coordination of the means and the protocols that have been activated," Sanchez wrote on Twitter.

Involcan warned earlier Sunday that more than 25,000 earthquakes had been detected in the area around the Cumbre Vieja volcano within the past nine days, including a 4.2-magnitude quake on Sunday.


People with disabilities were evacuated from areas surrounding the volcano, and hiking trails and pathways were closed before the eruption.

"We call on people to exercise extreme caution and to stay away from the eruption area in order to avoid unnecessary risks," the local government said Sunday. "Likewise, it is very important to keep roads clear so that they can be used by our land operatives."

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