Volcano threat sparks evacuation in Canaries
Police evacuated residents and tourists from the foot of a volcano on Spain’s Canary Islands after a series of earthquakes raised fears of an eruption.
29 Sep 2011
With the Pico de Malpaso mountain spitting rocks intermittently and a growing rumbling underground, authorities made emergency preparations on Wednesday in case the volcano blows its top on the Atlantic island of El Hierro.
“I have never felt shaking like it,” said Herminio Barrera, 25, a mechanic in the town of La Frontera. “I notice it especially at night. We can also hear a rumbling and sounds from deep down.”
A municipal official who asked not to be named told AFP that 53 residents and tourists had been evacuated to protect them from the occasional flying volcanic rock and the defence ministry said it was preparing emergency shelter for 2,000 people.
“I am staying calm but there are people who are more worried, particularly those with children,” Mr Barrera told AFP. “We are very close to the mountain. My father-in-law left yesterday.”
The Canary Islands regional government said it was in a state of pre-alert and was stocking drinking water and medical supplies, but officials played down any risk of a disaster.