Twenty-four hours after being shut down because of the ash released by the Cumbre Vieja volcano, the airport on the island of La Palma, in the Canary archipelago, reopened on Sunday (September 26), announced the management company of Spanish airports (AENA).
Through work “Ash cleaning” led during the night, “La Palma airport is operational again”, AENA said on its Twitter account. Flights can therefore resume, “With prior agreement” air traffic control authorities, she added. The manager of the Spanish airports nevertheless advises travelers to consult their airline to find out about the status of their flight before going there.
La Palma airport was shut down on Saturday due to the accumulation of ash on the runways. The move had caused long lines at the port of Santa Cruz de La Palma, with travelers seeking to depart by ferry to neighboring islands, including Tenerife.
Intensification of the volcano’s activity
The closure of La Palma airport had coincided with the appearance of new lava foci, the crumbling of part of the cone and an overall intensification of the activity of the volcano, which erupted last Sunday. This situation led to the evacuation of another region of the island on Saturday, bringing to more than six thousand two hundred the number of inhabitants who have had to leave their homes for a week.
According to the latest data from Copernicus, the European system of geospatial measurements, lava has so far destroyed four hundred and sixty-one buildings – forty-one more buildings in twenty-four hours – and covered 212 hectares, on this island of which the main economic activity is the cultivation of bananas. The two previous eruptions in La Palma took place in 1971 and 1949, killing a total of three people, two of them by gas inhalation.