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Volcano erupts on Spanish Canary Island of La Palma

A volcano erupted on the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma on Sunday, sending lava, smoke and ash into the air from the Cumbre Vieja national park in the south of the island.

The municipality urged residents in a statement to "exercise extreme caution," and stay away from the area and off the roads.

Those in nearby villages were told to go to one of five centers to be evacuated, and soldiers were deployed to help.

Video footage showed fountains of red molten lava shooting into the sky, and plumes of smoke could be seen from across the island.

Authorities had already begun evacuating those with reduced mobility as well as some farm animals from the surrounding villages before the eruption.

There had been more than 22,000 tremors this week in the Cumbre Vieja area, a chain of volcanoes that last had a major eruption in 1971 and is one of the most active volcanic regions in the Canaries.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted that he had postponed his trip to the United Nations General Assembly in New York and was on his way to La Palma.

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