MADRID (Reuters) – Ash from the erupting Cumbre Vieja volcano forced authorities in Spain’s La Palma to close the airport on the island on Thursday, Spanish air traffic operator Aena said.

“The La Palma Airport is inoperative due to ash accumulation. The established protocols are being applied. Safety is the priority,” AENA said in Twitter.

Other airports in the Canary archipelago remained open, authorities said.

The volcano started blasting out jets of red-hot lava on Sept. 19, laying waste to hundreds of buildings and farms, and forcing the evacuation of thousands.

(Reporting by Emma Pinedo, editing by Andrei Khalip)

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