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Volcanic gas kills hundreds of fish on Canary Islands

Hilary Hagerman, staff writer
November 16, 2011 — Emergency services on the Canary Island of El Heirro in Spain are continuing to monitor toxic gas levels after an underwater volcano erupted offshore last month-- killing hundreds of fish and causing an entire village to be evacuated.

Hundreds of fish washed up on the beach in El Heirro
Hundreds of fish washed up on the beach in El Heirro

Hundreds of fish killed by toxic gas from an underwater volcano washed up on a beach near an already-evacuated village Tuesday.

The underwater volcano, located just off the coast of the Canary Island of El Heirro, has been wreaking havoc for weeks.

On Monday, residents in the village of La Restinga were given 24 hour access to their homes, and were able to sleep in their own beds for the first time since they were evacuated on October 11. Previously, they were only allowed to access the village during daylight hours in the aftermath of the volcano's eruption, which sent toxic gasses into the air.

Children are still being sent to school in the nearby town of El Pinar as a precaution.

On November 9, two beaches on the island were closed for a month after a technician from the National Geographic Institute fell ill as he was measuring carbon dioxide levels from the previous day.

Authorities from emergency services say that an exclusion zone has been set up around the volcano to protect the public.

The island has experienced hundreds of low-intensity earthquakes due to volcanic activity. On November 12, explosions from the volcano soared 25 metres above sea level.

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