THOUSANDS have been forced to flee as lava from the erupted volcano on the Spanish isle of La Palma continues to spew out.
Streams of hot molten rock from the La Cumbre Vieja volcano swallowed swimming pools and homes in hellish scenes as it tore through El Paso.
The lava mercilessly swallows swimming pools and homes as it tears through El Paso[/caption]
Thousands of locals and tourists have been forced to evacuate after the La Cumbre Vieja volcano erupted[/caption]
The Spanish tourism minister horrifically told holidaymakers to come and watch the ‘wonderful show’[/caption]
Up to 10,000 people could be evacuated in the coming days, experts warn[/caption]
The unstoppable force of nature was flowing at 700 metres per hour on Monday with a temperature of over 1,000C, according to the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute.
At least 150 homes have been destroyed and 6,000 people evacuated after the eruption on Sunday, before new floods of lava gushed out late on Monday after a new vent of the volcano tore open.
It has already decimated banana plantations, a school, and hundreds of homes in El Paso.
Shocking video footage shows a river of orange-topped volcanic rock mercilessly surging through homes and pools as it makes its way towards the Atlantic Ocean.
Experts fears when it reaches the sea, it will create explosions and clouds of toxic gases – causing further damage to the health and homes of locals.
The acidic smoke could drastically reduce visibility at sea, forcing the closure of the shipping area to the west of the island.
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Canary Islands government chief Angel Victor Torres told SER radio: “There will be considerable material damage,” he said. “We hope there won’t be any personal injuries.”
So far, no fatalities or injuries have been reported, as the magma poured through a sparsely populated area of La Palma.
The island’s President urged people to stay away from the “bleak” area, explaining the wall of lava “is consuming houses, infrastructure [and] crops in its path to the coast”.
The Spanish tourism minister Reyes Maroto has come under fire after encouraging tourists to enjoy the “wonderful show” – as thousands of residents lose their homes and possessions.
“There are no restrictions on going to the island,” she told Spanish radio.
“On the contrary, we’re passing on the information so tourists know they can travel to the island and enjoy something unusual, see it for themselves.”
WEEKS TO COME
Volcanologists fear the eruption could continue for weeks to come while it is estimated up to 10,000 could be evacuated in the coming days.
Locals not yet in the ‘danger zone’ have been told to keep windows and doors shut and to turn off water, gas and electricity sources.
People are also encouraged to keep their phone and a battery operated radio on them at all times and those with animals should follow evacuation guidelines.
Four villages are the main source of concern – including El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane, Canary Islands regional president Angel Victor Torres said on Monday morning.
Around 500 tourists were rescued from a hotel in the coastal resort of Puerto Naos and offered emergency accommodation in an old barracks in Santa Cruz.
The British government has issued a warning to holidaymakers planning to travel to and from the luxury holiday destination after the volcano started rumbling and showing signs of activity last week.
ADVICE FOR BRITS
The UK government said last night: “On Sunday 19 September 2021, at approximately 15.15 local time, there was a volcanic eruption on the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma.
“The immediate area of Cabeza de Vaca, El Paso has been evacuated.”If you are in an affected area you should follow the advice of local authorities, including social media updates from Cabildo de La Palma.
“If you are planning to travel to the island imminently you are encouraged to contact your tour operators and airlines.”
The eruption came after a week of seismic activity that has seen around a thousand people evacuated from their homes.
The minister of science and innovation, Diana Morant said : “There is still no scientific answer on how long the eruption of La Palma will last”
Although, after analysing the lava and gases, she said: “we speak of a period between one and three weeks”.
A 3.8 magnitude quake was recorded before the eruption as vibrations from the seismic activity were felt on the surface.
Roads were closed due to the explosion and authorities urged the curious not to approach the area.
La Palma has a population of 85,000 and is one of eight islands in Spain’s Canary Islands.
Last week Spain’s National Geographic Institute said it detected 4,222 tremors in what scientists are calling an earthquake swarm around La Palma island since last Saturday.
An earthquake swarm is a cluster of quakes in one area during a short period and can indicate an approaching eruption.
Since last Saturday, there have been almost a thousand earthquakes on the islands.
On Tuesday, the Canary Island’s regional government put the island on a yellow alert for eruption.
The last eruption on the Canary Islands occurred underwater off the coast of El Hierro island in 2011 and that lasted five months.
The eruption has already devastated at least 150 homes[/caption]
The river of molten rock smashed its way into the dining room of a house[/caption]
It is feared the lava will create toxic gases when it eventually reaches the Atlantic Ocean[/caption]
It is feared the eruption could continue for weeks to come[/caption]
Lava flows behind houses following the huge eruption[/caption]