Lava eruptions destroy homes, wreak havoc in Spain's island of La Palma
·2 min read
Lava from the Cumbre Vieja volcano has been pouring downhill since Sunday's eruption, devastating everything in its path. Local officials said about 100 houses have been destroyed so far. AP
No casualties have so far been reported. There were mandatory evacuation orders for four villages, including El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane, and temporary shelters were set up. AP
"The lava left absolutely nothing in its path," local mayor Sergio Rodriguez was quoted as telling Spanish broadcaster TVE, adding that residents would not be returning home for a while. Regional airline Binter was forced to cancel four flights on Sunday due to the eruption but Spain's civil aviation authority has emphasised that the airspace above the islands remains open. AP
Authorities on La Palma, where people largely live from farming, told people in the wide areas where volcanic ash was falling to stay indoors with their doors and windows closed. Scientists say the lava flows could last for weeks or months, but the immediate danger to local people appeared to be over. AP
Spanish prime minister Pedro SÃ¡nchez flew to La Palma on Sunday to oversee rescue efforts. The prime minister delayed his departure for the UN General Assembly in New York to meet the Canary Islands' president to discuss the emergency services' response to the eruption. AFP
Residents on the island have expressed shock at the sudden eruption. "When the volcano erupted today, I was scared. For journalists it is something spectacular, for us it is a tragedy. I think the lava has reached some relatives' houses," Isabel Fuentes was quoted as telling broadcaster TVE. AP
The new eruption site is thought to be made from two fissures with eight mouths that has been spewing out hot gasses and molten rock from the Cumbre Vieja mountain range on to towns below. AP
La Palma had been on high alert after more than 22,000 tremors were recorded in one week around the volcano. AP
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