Volcano on Spanish isle falls silent

Jan-Uwe RonneburgerAAP
A cloud of ash and smoke still hovers above the volcano's summit, but explosions have stopped.
Camera IconA cloud of ash and smoke still hovers above the volcano's summit, but explosions have stopped. Credit: EPA

Lava has stopped flowing from a volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma after an eight-day eruption that caused widespread destruction and led to evacuations and curfews.

The volcano in Cumbre Vieja suddenly fell silent. Explosions and the hissing sound of material spewing out could no longer be heard on television reports.

However, a cloud of ash and smoke still hovered above the summit, although it was smaller than during the past few days.

Since the eruption began more than a week ago, it has been unclear how long it might last.

On Monday, a volcanologist said such interruptions were not unusual and it was too early to say whether the eruption was finally over, in comments to RTVE state television.

The lava flow was approaching the sea on Monday, and was only 800 metres away from the island's west coast, prompting authorities to impose a curfew on several nearby towns.

Toxic fumes can form when lava, with a temperature over 1000 Celsius, comes into contact with salt water.

The curfew applied in the towns of San Borondon, Marina Alta, Marina Baja and La Condesa, where people were told not to leave their homes and to keep their windows and doors closed.

Meanwhile, the island's airport has reopened, operator Aena said in a tweet. The runway has been cleared of volcanic ash.

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