According to the Associated Press, Several small earthquakes shook the Spanish island of La Palma off northwest Africa, keeping nerves on edge as rivers of volcanic lava continued to flow toward the sea Tuesday and a new vent blew open on the mountainside.
After moving downhill across the island’s countryside since Sunday’s eruption, the lava is gradually closing in on the more densely populated coastline. Officials said a river of lava was bearing down on the neighborhood of Todoque, where more than 1,000 people live and where emergency services were preparing evacuations.
About 6,000 people on La Palma have been evacuated so far and 183 houses damaged, government spokeswoman Isabel Rodríguez said after a Cabinet meeting in Madrid. “The truth is that it’s a tragedy to see people losing their properties,” said municipal worker Fernando Díaz in the town of El Paso, though he noted that people were also suffering by not knowing the fate of their homes as police kept people away from the lava flows.
“For the lucky ones they would have some peace in knowing that their homes haven’t been affected,” he said. “This uncertainty is complicated.” According to the Daily Mail, a house narrowly avoided being swallowed up by lava from La Palma’s volcano as officials warned 1,000 homes are under threat from the eruption, forcing fresh evacuations on the Spanish island.
Other buildings were not so lucky as dramatic footage shows millions of gallons of lava swallowing up farmland and holiday homes and even boiling swimming pool water as it snakes its way towards the island’s west coast where it is expected to drop into the ocean today.
Dramatic footage shows millions of gallons of lava swallowing up farmland and holiday homes and even boiling swimming pool water as it snakes its way towards the island’s west coast where it is expected to drop into the ocean today.
There are fears the lava will then create a toxic cloud of hydrochloric acid laced with fine glass particles that form when the molten rock is rapidly cooled. It comes as a new vent was spotted half a mile north of the old site after a 3.8 magnitude earthquake –
the most powerful on the island since the initial eruption – struck at 9.30 pm, forcing around 500 people in the Tacande area to flee as a fresh stream of lava emerged. In total, 6,000 people of the island’s 80,000 inhabitants have now been forced from their homes by the eruption, which began on Sunday and is the first in 50 years – with families given just one hour to escape the lava. Hundreds of tourists have also been affected.