"In terms of what is expected for the Madeira archipelago in the coming days, it will be very unlikely, it is not impossible, but it is very unlikely that the volcanic ash that is currently over the Canary Islands region will have an impact on the Madeira archipelago ", said Maria João Frade, from the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA).

The meteorologist explained that the forecast for Madeira for the coming days is a north or northeast wind and since the Canaries are south of Madeira, "it is not likely" that volcanic ash will reach the Portuguese islands, located less than 500 kilometres away from La Palma, the Spanish island where the volcano that erupted on Sunday is located.

This forecast for Madeira is due to an anticyclone that is located northwest of the Iberian Peninsula and that is "relatively intense" and "also relatively stationary" and "at least until the 23rd or 24th this anticyclone will be positioned northwest of the Peninsula Iberian", added Maria João Frade.

"Therefore, it is not likely to have an actual impact on Madeira, unless there is a very significant change in these forecasts. Therefore, it is more likely to have no impact at all," she reiterated.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma (Canary Islands) erupted on Sunday and authorities expect to evacuate between 5,000 and 10,000 people from the most exposed areas.

La Palma, with 85,000 inhabitants, is one of the eight islands of the Canary Islands archipelago and is located 460 kilometres from the Portuguese island of Madeira.

The previous eruption in La Palma took place in 1971, in Teneguía, in the south of the island, and lasted 24 days.