THE Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma has claimed its first victim, the 70-year-old-man was reportedly helping to clean up ash in the town of El Paso.

It has been 56 days since the volcano erupted on the Canary Island of La Palma and up until today, Saturday, November 13, there have thankfully been no human casualties. The man apparently had a permit to enter the exclusion zone and was accompanied by workers and cleaning crews. He came from the Corazoncillo neighbourhood, located on the border between Los Llanos de Aridane and El Paso on the east side of the island.

His body was discovered on Saturday morning at his home, he had been missing since Friday after all the people who had permission to access the area withdrew. It is unknown if his death was due to a fall from a roof while cleaning off the volcanic ash or to a building collapse because of the accumulation of ash. 

Another theory that is being considered is that he died as a result of high sulfur dioxide levels in the air while Guardia Civil sources point to suffocation as a possible cause of death since his body was found buried deep in the ash. An autopsy is to be carried out to determine the actual cause of death. Sergio Rodriguez, mayor of El Paso, confirmed the death and said it was still being investigated.

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