As molten lava flows into the sea from a volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma, hundreds of homes have been damaged.
Volcanic eruptions on the Spanish island of La Palma have forced firefighters to flee and officials to evacuate three additional communities, while airlines have canceled flights due to the largest cloud of gas and ash since the volcano started. On Friday afternoon, firefighters withdrew from cleanup efforts in the town of Todoque when a fresh vent on the volcano’s slope opened up. A large shockwave was seen originating from the eruption location in videos uploaded on social media.
“The volcano is in the midst of a newly eruptive phase… “Firefighters will not be operating today,” the Tenerife fire service, which has been dispatched to assist on La Palma, tweeted.
Authorities instructed inhabitants in the communities of Tajuya, Tacande de Abajo, and a portion of Tacande de Arriba to evacuate and gather at the local football stadium. Residents of the Canary Islands were initially advised to stay indoors to avoid the dense cloud of ash and lava fragments, but they were eventually ordered to leave owing to the increased risk of explosions.
Animals were also evacuated, in addition to people. The Guardia Civil tweeted, “The major priority is the evacuation of people… although there are also other vital responsibilities such as keeping pets safe,” with a video showing officers dragging hesitant goats to safety.
The Cumbre Vieja volcano has erupted on Sunday, dumping thousands of tons of lava, destroying hundreds of homes, and forcing thousands of residents to flee their homes. Although no significant injuries or deaths have been reported, around 15% of the island’s economically vital banana harvest could be jeopardized, putting thousands of jobs in jeopardy.
Because of the volcanic eruption, Binter, a Canary Island airline, has canceled all flights to La Palma, while Iberia has canceled its lone trip for the day, and another local airline, Canaryfly, has also halted operations. The ash cloud had deteriorated significantly in the last several hours, according to Binter, forcing it to cease operations to and from La Palma. The airline could not tell when it would resume operations after first canceling only night flights.
🔥 house reached by the lava of the volcano of La Palma in the Canary Islands 🔥 @lapalma #lapalma pic.twitter.com/e1qihc69T0— @ezequieleg968 (@ezequieleg968) September 19, 2021
The Canaries volcanology institute reported a cloud of hazardous gas and ash rising more than 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) into the sky. The storm was moving north-east towards the Mediterranean and the Spanish mainland, according to the national weather service. Apart from two tiny sections near the eruption site, the airspace over the island is accessible.
Drone footage shows homes being consumed by the lava flow at #LaPalma. Lava flows are slow enough to give us time to evacuate, but we can’t stop them from bulldozing their way through anything in their path. Slow but devastating. pic.twitter.com/NXRMO9g48n— Dr. Kayla Iacovino (@kaylai) September 21, 2021
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