New volcano mouth opens and forces further evacuations in Canary Islands

Residents and tourists from the Spanish island of La Palma, in the Canary Islands, have continued to retreat from their homes since the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, this Sunday (19th).

A new mouth of the volcano, which poses a remote threat of triggering a tsunami in Brazil, opened on Monday night (the Canary Islands are 4 hours ahead of the Brasilia time zone), and forced residents of the Tacande region in the municipality of El Paso, to leave their homes. It is already the ninth mouth of this volcano.

As of Monday afternoon, 5,500 residents had been driven from their homes because of proximity to the eruption zone or because their properties were on the path that the lava must follow.

Tacande is a town of just 704 inhabitants, but it is not yet possible to say how many of them should be removed. As of early Monday night, no volcanic-related deaths had been confirmed.

According to the Spanish website El Diario, the lava movement has slowed down in recent hours, and is not expected to reach the sea tonight. The information was provided by the director of the Volcanic Risk Prevention Plan for the Canary Islands, Pevolca, Miguel Ángel Morcuende, in statements to the EFE agency.

This does not mean, according to him, that the eruption has decreased its activity and it should be verified in the next few hours whether this reduction is a trend or not.

The technicians explained that the lava continues to descend at the height of the Todoque’s core, filling spaces and in some points overflowing, but at a slower rate than expected.

Lava has already swallowed houses and cars
On the second day of volcanic activity, several houses are being swallowed up by the lava expelled from the Cumbre Vieja. After passing through about 100 houses and forests, the molten rock has flowed towards the Atlantic Ocean, but has not yet reached the sea.

The eruption took place in a sparsely populated region of the island of La Palma. Around 85 thousand people live there. On the island, there is dense smoke coming out of the volcano, and some houses are on fire.

“The lava moves towards the coast, and the damage will be material. According to experts, there is a volume of lava between 17 million and 20 million cubic meters,” said regional president Angel Victor Torres. Each cubic meter of lava is equivalent to one thousand liters.