Lava flowing from a volcanic eruption in Spain’s Canary Islands has forced the evacuation of 5,500 people and destroyed about 100 homes. However, the lava from the first eruption in 50 years is flowing more slowly than originally thought, authorities said Monday.
The molten rock stream did not reach the Atlantic Ocean late Monday as previously thought, an official said. Experts say that if and when it does, it could trigger more explosions and clouds of toxic gas.
Fresh flows of lava from the volcano’s eruption on Monday night prompted the evacuation of residents in the city of El Paso, the regional emergency agency wrote on Twitter.
The volcano first erupted on Sunday (19/9), shooting lava hundreds of meters into the air, engulfing forests and sending molten rock out to sea over the sparsely populated area of La Palma, the northwesternmost island of the Canary Islands group.
No casualties or injuries were reported but drone footage showed two devastating black tongues of lava flowing down the volcano’s western slope toward the sea.
An eye witness saw the flow of molten rock slowly tearing the road and through a house in the village of Los Campitos, igniting the inside of the house and scorching it. (lt/uh)