News ID: 316475
Published: 1259 GMT September 20, 2021

Thousands flee as lava spewing from volcano destroys houses on Spain's Canary Island of La Palma

Thousands flee as lava spewing from volcano destroys houses on Spain's Canary Island of La Palma
BORJA SUAREZ/REUTERS

A house burns due to lava from the eruption of a volcano in the Cumbre Vieja national park at Los Llanos de Aridane on the Canary Island of La Palma on September 20, 2021.

Authorities have evacuated about 5 000 people from villages in the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma as lava spews from an erupting volcano, local officials said.

The 15-metre high lava flow has already swallowed 20 houses in the village of El Paso and sections of roads, Mayor Sergio Rodriguez told TVE radio station on Monday morning, according to Reuters.

It is now spreading through the neighbouring village of Los Llanos de Aridane where hundreds of houses are at risk, he said.

"We are monitoring the trajectory of the lava," Rodriguez said.

Since erupting on Sunday afternoon, the volcano has shot lava up hundreds of metres into the air and poured flows of molten rock towards the Atlantic Ocean over a sparsely populated area of La Palma, the most northwestern island in the Canaries archipelago.

Local authorities have evacuated about 5 000 people from four villages, including El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane, and no further evacuations are likely to be necessary, Canary Islands regional president Angel Victor Torres said on Monday morning.

"The lava is moving towards the coast and the damage will be material. According to experts, there are about 17-20 million cubic metres of lava," he said.

Cumbre Vieja is one of most active volcanic regions of Spanish islands with last eruption in 1971.

La Palma had been on high alert after more than 22 000 tremors were reported in the space of a week in Cumbre Vieja, which belongs to a chain of volcanoes that last had a major eruption in 1971 and is one of the most active volcanic regions in the Canaries.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez arrived in La Palma on Sunday night for talks with the islands' government on managing the eruption.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
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