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Thousands flee as lava spewing from volcano on Spain’s La Palma island destroys houses By Reuters


© Reuters. The lava from the volcano eruption in Cumbre Vieja national Park at Los Llanos de Aridane on La Palma Island, September 20-21, causes a house to burn. REUTERS/Borja Suarez


LA PALMA, Spain (Reuters) – Authorities have evacuated about 5,000 people from villages in the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma as lava spews from an erupting volcano, local officials said.

On Monday morning, Sergio Rodriguez, mayor of El Paso said that the lava flow of 15 meters high had swallowed twenty houses and sections on roads.

He stated that it is currently spreading into Los Llanos de Aridane nearby, where there are hundreds of homes at risk.

Rodriguez stated that they are closely monitoring the trajectory and movement of the lava.

The volcano erupted on Sunday afternoon and has spewed lava hundreds of meters high into the atmosphere. Molten rock flows towards the Atlantic Ocean from a small area in La Palma (the Canaries archipelago’s northernmost island).

Angel Victor Torres from the Canary Islands region said that about 5,000 people were evacuated from four villages (El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane) and that no additional evacuations are likely.

“The lava moving towards the coast is causing material damage. Experts estimate that there is approximately 17-20 million cubic metres of lava.

Nemesio Perez, vulcanologist, said that no fatalities have been reported. He also stated that none of these events are likely to occur if people behave responsibly.

La Palma was on alert following more than 22,000 earthquakes in Cumbre Vieja in a matter of days. This volcano chain, one of the Canaries’ most active volcanic areas, last experienced a major eruption back in 1971.

One man died in 1971 while taking photos near the lava flow, however, no damage was done.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez visited La Palma to meet with officials from the government of the islands regarding the management of the volcanic eruption.

He said, “We have all resources and all troops. Citizens can rest easily.”

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