La Palma volcano is 'a great show' and safe for tourists says Spanish minister

The Canary Islands are safe to visit and a volcano eruption there is a “wonderful show”, Spanish Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said on Monday, just hours after 5,000 people, including hundreds of tourists, had to be evacuated.

The volcano – the archipelago’s first eruption in 50 years – blew on Sunday, spouting lava hundreds of metres into the air, engulfing houses and sending molten rock towards the Atlantic Ocean across a sparsely populated area of La Palma, the most northwestern island in the archipelago.

“The island is open,” Maroto told Canal Sur radio, calling the eruption “a wonderful show”.

“There are no restrictions on going to the island … on the contrary,

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