A volcano erupted on the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma on Sunday afternoon.

Thousands of residents are being evacuated because of the smoke, ash and lava spreading over the island.

Security forces are calling on people to stay away from the spewing volcano.

The Spanish Guardia Civil has drawn up an evacuation plan that will see between five and ten thousand islanders evacuated in the coming hours, Spanish media outlets including

RTVE

and

El País report

.

Even before the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, authorities had started evacuating livestock and dozens of vulnerable residents, such as the elderly and the sick, from surrounding villages.

Prior to the eruption, scientists had recorded a series of earthquakes measuring 3.8 in the national park where the volcano erupted, Spain's National Geographic Institute (ING) reported.

The last eruption on La Palma was in October 1971, when the volcano Teneguia spewed lava for more than three weeks after a fissure appeared in the south of the island.

At the time, a man was killed while taking pictures near the lava flows.

There are also lava flows.

That has already led to blocked roads on the 83,000 inhabitants island, but so far no deaths or injuries.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has already announced that he will visit La Palma as soon as possible.

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Volcano erupts and spews lava on Canary Island La Palma

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