Three weeks since its eruption affected the lives of thousands of people, the volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma still spews rivers of lava with no signs of cessation. This Sunday (10), the molten lava was as big as three-story buildings and a series of tremors shook the earth at the site.
The new flow of molten rock that contributed to the destruction of more than 1,100 buildings. Everything in the lava path – houses, farms, swimming pools and industrial buildings in the predominantly agricultural area – was consumed.
There were 21 seismic movements, the largest of them measured at 3.8, the Spanish National Geological Institute (ING) said, causing the earth to shake in the villages of Mazo, Fuencaliente and El Paso.
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There were 21 seismic movements, the largest of them measured at 3.8, said the Spanish National Geological Institute (ING) — Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS
The collapse of part of the volcanic cone on Saturday sent a flood of bright red lava pouring from the Cumbre Vieja summit that initially opened on 19 September. The fast flow carried large chunks of lava that had already hardened. An industrial park was soon engulfed.
“We cannot say that we expect the eruption that began 21 days ago to end soon,” said Julio Pérez, the regional minister for security in the Canary Islands.
La Palma is part of the Canary Islands of Spain, an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean off northwestern Africa whose economy depends on the cultivation of Canarian plantains and tourism.
People watch as lava flows from a volcano in La Palma — Photo: AP Photo/Daniel Roca
The new lava rivers did not force evacuation of more residents, since they are all within the exclusion zone that the authorities created. About 6,000 residents were evacuated immediately after the initial eruption.
Government experts have estimated that the largest of the lava flows measures 1.5 km (0.9 miles) at its widest point, while the delta of the new earth being formed where the lava is flowing into the Atlantic has reached a surface of 34 hectares (84 acres).
The scientific committee that advises the government said that if the delta continues to grow towards the sea, parts of it could break. This would generate explosions, gas emissions and large waves, said committee spokesman José María Blanco, but should not pose a danger to anyone outside the prohibited zone.
Molten lava as big as three-story buildings ran down the slope on the Spanish island of La Palma this Sunday (10) — Photo: AP Photo/Daniel Roca
The tourism industry in the Canary Islands has already been hit hard by the pandemic, and authorities urge tourists not to stay away.
“This eruption is affecting a part of the island, but La Palma is still a safe place and can offer a lot to those who visit it,” said Mariano Hernández, the island’s top official.
The last eruption in La Palma, 50 years ago, lasted just over three weeks. The last eruption in all of the Canary Islands took place underwater off the coast of the island of El Hierro in 2011 and lasted for five months.
The lava flow, with temperatures of up to 1,240 degrees Celsius, destroyed the last remaining buildings in the village of Todoque — Photo: AP Photo/Daniel Roca
Want to know more? See videos:
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