Volcano on the island of La Palma: hundreds more people have to flee

The situation on the volcanic island of La Palma intensified again on Tuesday. Between 700 and 800 people were asked to leave their homes with pets and their be

Volcano on the island of La Palma: hundreds more people have to flee

The situation on the volcanic island of La Palma intensified again on Tuesday. Between 700 and 800 people were asked to leave their homes with pets and their belongings because of approaching lava and to find themselves in a gathering place, the state TV channel RTVE reported, citing the emergency Committee Pevolca. You'd have until the evening to do that. As far as the development allows, those affected may also return in the following days accompanied by security personnel to save further belongings, Pevolca wrote on Twitter.

Since the eruption of the volcano in the Cumbre Vieja just over three weeks ago, around 6,000 people have had to leave their homes. They stayed with relatives in other parts of the island or in hotels. Many of them will never be able to return. Their houses were burned and buried by the lava, which reached 1200 degrees. Even a reconstruction on the spot is impossible for decades.

Only hours before the evacuation was ordered, an exit restriction had been lifted in the same region, which is located near the commercial area of Callejón de la Gata. This had been imposed the day before as a precaution because of possibly toxic fumes, because the lava had set fire to several plants, including a cement plant. On Tuesday, however, no toxins were measured in the air, Pevolca said.

The volcano in the Cumbre Vieja, which has no official name, erupted on September 19 for the first time in 50 years. In recent days, the outbreak had increased in intensity. The lava became hotter and therefore thinner and faster on its way downhill towards the sea. Again and again there were strong explosions, magma was thrown into the air, smoke rose to a height of several kilometers. So far, up to 1000 buildings have been destroyed and major damage has been done to agriculture, especially banana plantations, and infrastructure.

Day 23 since the eruption: The volcano on La Palma continues to haunt hot lava. : Image: EPA

The main stream of lava, which can reach up to 1200 degrees Celsius, has been pouring into the Atlantic for almost two weeks, creating a new headland. Meanwhile, two side streams formed, the northern one rolled with destructive effect through the industrial area and now threatens a residential area, the southern one was only 300 meters from the coast. Many small to medium-sized earthquakes also shook the Canary Island off the west coast of Africa. As of Monday morning, there were about 120 with strengths up to 4,1, as reported by the state TV channel RTVE.

Updated Date: 14 October 2021, 00:01

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