More than 130 Belgians to be recalled from La Palma due to volcanic eruption

More than 130 Belgians to be recalled from La Palma due to volcanic eruption
The aftermath of the volcanic eruption. Credit: Belga

Some 83 Belgians were recalled from the Canary Island of La Palma on Thursday following the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano.

Tour operator Tui Fly confirmed to Belga news agency that another 50 people are expected to be flown home in the coming days.

"Flying to La Palma has not been possible for the past few days because the ash particles in the air make it unsafe," spokesperson Piet Demeyere said.

"We only got the green light on Wednesday, so today (Thursday) we can get the first Belgians home. The other 50 compatriots can go home on Saturday or Wednesday because Tui only flies twice a week to La Palma," he added.

The volcano, located in an uninhabited area, erupted on Sunday evening, resulting in the evacuation of some 6,100 people on the island. The eruption did not result in any deaths or injuries so far.

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According to the latest monitoring data from Copernicus, the EU's Earth Observation Programme, 350 houses have already been destroyed whilst 166 hectares of the 70,830 hectares island are covered in lava.

The volcano was under strict surveillance since September 11, after "more than 22,000 tremors were reported in one week," a statement on Copernicus' website read.

The lava flow caused by the eruption has made its way around the island over the past few days, destroying everything in its path, and it is now feared that poisonous gases will be released if the lava reaches the ocean.

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