Canary Islands volcano erupts: La Palma lava nears sea


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Due to a volcanic eruption on the Spanish island of La Palma, the authorities were forced to evacuate another village in the path of lava gushing towards the sea.

The evacuation of El Paso took place after lava started ejecting from a new crack in the Cumbre Vieja volcano. Because of this, more than 200 people were forced to flee their homes on Tuesday.

Just after the eruption, the place witnessed four earthquakes. 

The new vent is 900 meters (3,000 feet) north of the Cumbre Vieja national park.

According to the Involcan volcanology institute, the vent appeared after a 4.1 magnitude earthquake later on Monday.

What has been the damage so far?

Lava in large quantity, like 6 meters high rolled down the volcano. It crashed and burned everything that came in its path and affected almost 400 farms.

According to the European Union’s Earth Observation Program, Copernicus – by Tuesday, lava had covered 103 hectares of land.

Until now, about 6,000 people on La Palma have been evacuated and 183 houses have been damaged.

No casualties have been reported. 

La Palma
Residents scrambled to retrieve their belongings on Tuesday as the lava advanced

When will lava reach the sea?

It was expected that the lava would reach the sea by Monday, but its speed has slowed down.

By Tuesday morning, the white-hot mass of molten rock, with a temperature of nearly 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,830 degrees Fahrenheit), had still not reached the western coast.

Volcanologist Stavros Meletlidis said it was not clear when it would reach the sea because its speed was “very variable.”

“It can accelerate very quickly, especially when the topography changes … or it can stop on a plain for several hours. You have to see how both the main flow and the secondary flow are developing,” he said.

The experts have warned – if lava reaches the sea, it will generate clouds of toxic gas.

How has the government reacted?

Pedro Sanchez – the Prime Minister of Spain said the crisis management on La Palma “does not end when the lava reaches the sea.”

“It will end when we rebuild all the damage caused by the eruption of the volcano,” Sanchez said, vowing to stand with those affected.

The system is seeking financial aid from the EU to help reconstruct, said Angel Victor Torres, the head of the Canary Islands regional government.

Damage caused by the disaster has already amounted to more than €400 million ($470 million), qualifying the region for emergency EU aid.



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