Residents Return Home on El Hierro as Volcano Calms
    2011-11-15 19:16:01     Xinhua       Web Editor: Zhangxu

Residents of the fishing village of La Restinga on El Hierro island were allowed to return home on Monday night, after scientists said they are not expecting an imminent eruption from a nearby underwater volcano.

The village residents were forced to leave their homes on November 5 as the volcano off the coast of the most westerly of the Canary Islands began eruption for a second time.

Access to La Restinga and several neighboring coves had been limited as a result of the threat of intoxication from poison gases emitted from the volcano.

At the same time, water in the area was also stained by sulphur from the volcano, while water temperatures rose, both threatening marine lives in the area.

A string of earthquakes were registered on the El Hierro island, including several tremors measuring above 4 on the Richter scale, in the past 10 days.

Monday night alone saw a series of tremors hit El Hierro, including 10 small quakes of measuring between 1.7 and 3.2 on the Richter scale.

Scientists have now ruled out any imminent eruption of the volcano, although they admitted that the possibility of further shocks still existed.

El Hierro residents estimated that the crisis had cost them around 4 million euros in lost earnings from the island's hotels, restaurants and diving schools, although business had picked up in recent days with increasing numbers of people traveling in order to look at the volcano, as its underwater eruption was visible from the shore.

 

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