Canary Islands: La Palma volcano eruption is a wonderful show for travellers, says tourism minister

Mount Cumbre Vieja erupts in El Paso, spewing out columns of smoke, ash and lava as seen from Los Llanos de Aridane on the Canary island of La Palma (AFP via Getty Images)

The La Palma volcano eruption was a “wonderful show” for travellers, the Spanish tourism minister said.

Speaking on Monday, Reyes Maroto said the “island is open” for travellers despite the eruption.

She told radio station Canal Sur: “There are no restrictions on going to the island… On the contrary, we’re passing on the information so tourists know they can travel to the island and enjoy something unusual, see it for themselves.”

The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Maroto was slammed for her comments in the wake of the eruption.

Teodoro Garcia Egea, secretary general of the opposition People’s Party wrote: “Can someone confirm the minister said that while hundreds of people are losing everything they have?”

Later, Maroto “clarified the statements” saying “the most urgent thing is, without doubt, to work to recover normality as soon as possible”.

Local media reported Maroto said: “Today we are with those affected and the victims and thinking about how to recover that normality that nature has changed.”

More than 6,000 locals have been evacuated to safety following the eruption.

It marked the first eruption in the Canary Islands in 50 years.

At least 100 hillside homes have been destroyed in the burning hot lava.

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