LA PALMA — The Spanish Institute of Geology and Mining reported that blocks of lava the size of three-story buildings were expelled by the volcano Cumbre Vieja in the Canary Islands. Seismic activity in the region also continues intense and more than 20 tremors were registered this Sunday alone, the day the eruption on the island of La Palma completes three weeks.
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“A collapse north of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on Saturday caused the release of large blocks of lava and the emergence of new flows through areas already evacuated,” Spain’s Department of National Security said.
This morning, a new lava flow with a temperature of up to 1,240 degrees destroyed the few remaining buildings north of the Todoque region. According to data from the Copernicus satellite monitoring system, so far lava flows extend over 497 hectares and have destroyed 1,186 buildings on the island.
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According to the Reuters news agency, during a visit to the region, the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, announced that naval personnel will work to clean up the ashes that cover La Palma as of Monday.
The eruption started on September 19th and magma began to reach the sea on the 28th, forming a “pyramid” of about 50 meters. Authorities urge residents to avoid leaving their homes and approaching the plume of smoke. Due to the release of toxic gases, the use of masks and goggles to avoid inhalation and eye contact was also recommended.
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According to the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcan), the eruption of Cumbre Vieja can last from 24 to 84 days. The projection takes into account data from previous explosions on the island of La Palma. The average duration of the phenomenon is 55 days.