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World

French volcano enthusiasts camp out to skirt curfew

  • Several other spectators have also been camping out to view the volcano, whose name means "Furnace Peak" in English.
14 Apr 2021

SAINT-DENIS DE LA REUNION: France's Reunion island is regularly treated to spectacular eruptions of the Piton de la Fournaise volcano -- but with a Covid-19 curfew in place, some residents resorted to drastic measures this week to enjoy the stunning night-time views.

The Indian Ocean island has been under a 6.00 pm-5.00 am curfew since March 5 in a bid to tame coronavirus infections.

That presented a problem for amateur photographer Marc Gence when the first eruption of the year began on Friday night -- since, he pointed out, night-time is when "the spectacle is at its most beautiful".

With night-time travel banned, Gence saw only one solution: pitching a tent not far from the volcano and making it his home for a couple of nights.

"I didn't travel, and the views were magical," he said, happily showing off snaps of the eruption he took on Saturday night.

Several other spectators have also been camping out to view the volcano, whose name means "Furnace Peak" in English.

But island authorities have now moved to stop people from taking up temporary residence in the area to beat the curfew.

Prefect Jacques Billant announced that all camping would be banned across the whole island from Tuesday night, "to avoid groups spreading the virus".