• Fri. Dec 8th, 2023

Thousands of people have been evacuated after wildfires raged on a Spanish island

Thousands of people have been evacuated after wildfires raged on a Spanish island

At least 4,000 people have been evacuated as wildfires rage on the Spanish island of La Palma, authorities said Sunday, as Europe struggles to cope with the heat. The fire broke out in La Palma in the early hours of Saturday morning in El Pinar de Puntagorda, a forested area in the north of the island in the Canary Islands. People from villages in Puntagorda and neighboring Tijarafe were forced to evacuate due to the fire.

Ten aerial units and 300 firefighters battled the wildfire on the island, part of the Spanish archipelago off the coast of West Africa. Canary Islands president Fernando Clavijo said at least 13 homes had been destroyed by the fire.

“There has been some resistance to local people leaving their homes, but I urge people to be responsible,” Clavijo told reporters in La Palma. More than 4,6500 hectares (114,904 acres) of land have been affected by the fire, officials said.

In Tenerife, another of the eight Canary Islands, a forest fire that broke out on Saturday forced the evacuation of 50 people and destroyed 60 hectares, authorities said. Spain’s King Felipe VI phoned Clavijo on Saturday to express his support for the people of La Palma, the Spanish royal family said.

The forest fire is the island’s first natural crisis since the volcano erupted in September 2021. More than 2,000 buildings were destroyed and thousands of people were forced to flee their homes when lava began to flow from the Cumbre Vija volcano. Ash covered the island for months until the eruption ended three months later.

(This story has not been edited by DavidDiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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