Saturday 10/16/21
VOLCANO ERUPTION

Spanish royal couple visits victims of La Palma volcano eruption

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia first visited some of the over 6,000 evacuees
King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia travelled to the Spanish island of La Palma to encourage evacuees after the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano. Photo: Twitter/@CasaReal.
King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia travelled to La Palma to encourage evacuees after the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano. Photo: Twitter/@CasaReal.

Spain's King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia on Thursday flew to La Palma, where a volcano in Cumbre Vieja in the south of the Canary island erupted last weekend for the first time in 50 years.

The royal couple first visited some of the over 6,000 evacuees and gave them words of encouragement, reported state broadcaster RTVE. Many of them have lost all their belongings due to the eruption.

Felipe and Letizia were accompanied by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

They later met representatives of the island's government and went to see the destruction caused by the eruption first hand.

They also visited an emergency control centre near the volcano to observe the relief efforts in action.

Ash, lava

Since Sunday, the volcano has been spewing ash, rock fragments and lava with a temperature of around 1,000 degrees Celsius.

It is still unclear whether the lava will reach the coast: It initially rolled downhill towards the sea at 700 metres per hour, but by Thursday it was only moving at 4 metres per hour.

So far, at least 350 homes have been completely destroyed and many others severely damaged. Banana plantations, roads and power lines were also destroyed.

There have not been any casualties reported.

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