Soldiers begin La Palma volcano clean-up

For 86 days, red-hot lava spilled out of the crater of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, carving a destructive path to the ocean that buried thousands of houses and forced the evacuation of many more until the volcano suddenly went quiet on December 14.

Emergency services are measuring oxygen levels, confirming areas are free of toxic gas, and removing ashes and debris from towns.

They also must check that the structures of buildings are safe after having to bare with the weight of ashes and endure high temperatures and seismic activity.

If by the Christmas day (December 25) the volcano which erupted on September 19 continues to be silent, authorities will declare the eruption officially over, providing residents with much needed relief.

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