“A major change in the game” as the travel ban between the United Kingdom and the United States is lifted from November
The Canary Islands are safe to visit and a volcanic eruption is a “wonderful sight,” Spain Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said this morning, just hours after 5,000 people – including hundreds of tourists – had to be evacuated.
The volcano erupted on Sunday, sending lava hundreds of feet into the air, engulfing houses and sending molten rock toward the Atlantic Ocean through a sparsely populated area of La Palma, the island of La further north-west of the archipelago.
“The island is open,” Maroto told Canal Sur radio, calling the eruption a “wonderful sight.”
“There are no restrictions to go to the island … on the contrary, we pass the information so that tourists know that they can go to the island and enjoy something unusual, the see for themselves, ”she said.
Maroto’s remarks drew immediate criticism from Teodoro Garcia Egea, general secretary of the opposition Popular Party, who posted a post on Twitter quoting the minister and asked: “Can anyone confirm that the minister said this when hundreds of people are losing everything they have?”
About 360 tourists were evacuated from a resort town in La Palma in the wake of the eruption and taken by boat to the neighboring island of Tenerife on Monday, a spokesperson for ferry operator Fred Olsen said.
Another 180 tourists could be evacuated from La Palma later in the day. See below [11:48 post] for photos of the rash.