updated 11/5/2011 6:24:19 PM ET 2011-11-05T22:24:19

Activity by an underwater volcano has led Spanish authorities to shutdown access to a port on El Hierro island, officials said on Saturday.

Ships have been ordered away from waters around La Restinga and aircraft have been banned from flying over the island's southern tip.

Check out PhotoBlog for picture of spewing volcano.

The port's 600 residents were evacuated Tuesday after volcanic activity began.

The regional government of the Canary Islands says scientists have detected airborne volcanic fragments called pyroclasts rising from the sea off La Restinga.

The government said it awaited scientific reports on the danger posed by pyroclasts, but a research vessel that was collecting samples there has been ordered to desist.

TV channel La Sexta reported Saturday that journalists also have been told to clear the area.

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