ENVIRONMENT
11/13/2011 08:59 pm ET

Volcano Near El Hierro, Canary Islands Releases Toxic Gases (VIDEO)

An underwater volcano near El Hierro in the Canary Islands has begun erupting near the shore, reports Reuters. The eruptions may be spectacular, but officials have also noticed that the volcano is spewing toxic gases into the air around the island.

After a worker studying the volcano became ill, several of the island's beaches were closed. In the video, a local explains that the volcano is also making the island's cats act strangely and eat dead fish.

The volcano, which is just over 200 feet from the surface, began erupting a week ago. The Daily Mail reports the eruption began with a 4.3-magnitude earthquake.

According to the International Business Times, the volcano is shooting magma 65 feet into the air. The eruption is the first in the Canaries since 1971 and locals are already speculating that it may create a new island.

Despite the beach closures and dead fish near the island, the island's human population is safe. The Telegraph reports that Spanish authorities "insist there is no major risk for the population."

To see some footage of other volcanoes that have erupted recently, check out this video of a volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo and this video of Mount Etna's most recent eruption in Italy.

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