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La Palma volcano: Residents urged to stay indoors as ash clouds force flight cancellations

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By Euronews  with AP
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Police officers and emergency personnel look as lava flows from the Cumbre Vieja volcano.
Police officers and emergency personnel look as lava flows from the Cumbre Vieja volcano.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

Authorities on La Palma have warned residents to stay indoors as the Cumbre Vieja volcano continues to emit ash clouds.

All flights to and from the island have been cancelled because of the falling ash, according to Spain’s national airport authority.

Meanwhile, school classes were suspended on Wednesday in a number of towns on the island.

The volcano has been spewing lava, ash, and gases on the Spanish island for more than six weeks. Scientists have said the eruption could last up to three months.

Emergency services connected to the Canary Islands government have said that the local air quality is “extremely unfavorable” because of the high level of small particles.

The cancellation of flights mean many sightseeing tourists were forced to queue in long lines for ferries to leave La Palma.

Although around 85,000 people live on La Palma, most of the island is unaffected by the volcanic eruption.

More than 7,000 people have been evacuated from their homes due to the threat from the rivers of lava.

The molten rock has now covered more than 997 hectares and damaged more than 2,200 buildings.

Residents on the island have remained on alert amid several earthquakes, including a magnitude 5 tremor that was felt on Wednesday morning.