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Smoke and pyroclastic materials coming from Cumbre Vieja volcano. Photo: Desiree Martin/AFP via Getty Images

Volcanic explosions on the Spanish island of La Palma intensified on Friday after a new vent opened, forcing firefighters to retreat and three more towns to evacuate, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Mount Cumbre Vieja erupted earlier this week, destroying hundreds of homes and forcing thousands to evacuate, Reuters reports. Firefighters had been scheduled for clean-up work on Friday before the latest explosion.

  • "The volcano is in a newly explosive phase ... Firefighters will not operate anymore today," the Tenerife fire service, which had been in La Palma to help locals, tweeted Friday morning.
  • The towns evacauted were Tajuya, Tacande de Abajo and the part of Tacande de Arriba that had not been evacuated yet per Reuters.
  • Multiple airlines canceled their flights to La Palma on Friday including Binter, Iberia and Canaryfly, per Reuters.

Flashback: The volcano erupted on the southern part of the island which came after many weeks of seismic activity including a 3.8 magnitude earthquake before the explosion.

Smoke cloud from Cumbre Vieja volcano. Photo: Desiree Martin /AFP via Getty Images
Cloud of smoke approaching from Cumbre Vieja approaching a town in La Palma. Photo: Desiree Martin/AFP via Getty Images

What they're saying: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez declared the island an emergency zone on Friday.

  • Sánchez also said that the government was working on a plan to rebuild the island as well as aid neighboring islands.

Go deeper

Sep 25, 2021 - World

Airport closes as La Palma explosion intensifies

Photo: Desiree Martin/AFP via Getty Images

The Spanish island of La Palma was forced to close its airport on Saturday after volcanic explosions intensified, Reuters reports.

Driving the news: Mount Cumbre Vieja began erupting last Sunday, and on Friday, a new vent opened, forcing firefighters to retreat and three more towns to evacuate.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.

1 hour ago - World

Top general: China's hypersonic missile test "very close" to a "Sputnik moment"

Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Wednesday that China's test of a hypersonic missile is "very concerning" and "very close" to the kind of "Sputnik moment" that triggered the Space Race during the Cold War.

Why it matters: The comments by America's top uniformed general underscore the depths of U.S. concerns about China's rapid military expansion and development of advanced weaponry.