Madrid: Around 5,000 people have been evacuated from areas close to the erupting volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma, the country's Civil Guard said.
"So far 5,000 people have been evacuated to the Los Llanos de Aridane soccer field. The airspace is open, the airport is operating as normal," the Civil Guard said on Twitter on Sunday.
Earlier on Sunday, the Volcanology Institute of the Canaries (INVOLCAN) confirmed that a volcano had started erupting on the Spanish island of La Palma.
The Spanish National Geographic Institute had registered seismological activity in the area for about a week before the eruption, so the authorities were able to start evacuating people with limited mobility early.
"We have been working this week to anticipate and know how to act on La Palma in this situation. We will guarantee the safety of citizens at all times," Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Twitter after an emergency government meeting on Sunday.
The last time that the island of La Palma saw a volcanic eruption was in 1971, when one man reportedly died.