SAINT-DENIS DE LA REUNION, France (Reuters) - A volcano on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion which has been spewing out lava and ash for nearly a week appeared to be calming down on Sunday, the local government said.
The Piton de la Fournaise volcano on the French island first erupted on Monday, sending lava 500 metres (more than 1,500 feet) into the air and creating spectacular clouds of steam from the sea.
The island’s prefecture said the intensity of the eruptions had decreased over the last 48 hours and continued to do so on Sunday.
The lava flows cut off a road that passes the foot of the volcano and 200 families living in the village of Tremblet, 3 km (2 miles) from the lava flow, were on high alert after a brief evacuation on Friday.
The prefecture said a large part of the southeast of Reunion was covered with a thin layer of ash but tests showed that the level of sulphur dioxide in the air was much lower than the tolerable amount for people in fragile health.