Military measures toxic gases near La Palma

Video from the UME showed soldiers wearing oxygen tanks and gas masks as they took data readings inside buildings.

The eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, which sent rivers of molten rock down its slopes and expanded the size of the island by more than 48 hectares, is the longest ever on La Palma, according to records dating back to the 16th century.

Thousands of people have been evacuated, at least 2,910 buildings have been destroyed and the island's economically vital banana plantations have been devastated.

Authorities allowed evacuated residents to return to clear their ash-covered houses on Thursday (December 16) as scientists suggested solidifying lava vents beneath the Cumbre Vieja volcano could herald an end to the three-month eruption.

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