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La Palma volcano roars back to life as lava nears the sea By Reuters


© Reuters. Screengrab taken from a drone camera shows the lava flow following an eruption at the Cumbre Vieja volcano, located on La Palma’s Canary Island, Spain, September 26, 2021. REUTERS TV via REUTERS


By Jon Nazca and Nacho Doce

LA PALMA, Spain (Reuters) -The volcano on Spain’s La Palma island began ejecting ash and smoke again on Monday after a brief lull, while hundreds of people in coastal villages were locked down in anticipation of the lava reaching the sea and releasing toxic gas.

According to witnesses from Reuters, a white column rose out of the Cumbre Vieja volcano’s Cumbre Vieja volcano. This occurred after several hours (1000 GMT) of calm. Scientists confirmed that the volcano was also spewing lava.

Miguel Angel Morcuende director of Pevolca’s response committee said that it was a normal eruption. The volcano can go through periods of growth or decay.

Maria Jose Blanco from Pevolca, Maria Jose Blanco’s Pevolca colleague said the decline in activity could be due to lower levels of gas or a smaller supply of material inside the crater.

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Black lava slowly flows down the volcano’s west flank towards the ocean since September 19, destroying over 500 houses and churches, as well the banana plantations. This is according to Copernicus, the European Union’s disaster monitoring programme.

The Spanish property portal Idealista put the cost of damage at around 209 million dollars ($178 million).

The superheated blacklava tongues were visible on Monday at the western end of Todoque. It was less than 1 km from the Atlantic. However, authorities stated that it could be seen rounding the hill.

Around 300 people living in coastal areas like San Borondon and Marina Alta, Baja, La Condesa, and Baja have been forced to stay at home as the contact with the sea and lava will most likely cause explosions that emit chlorine gas clouds.

Binter, a local airline, had intended to resume flights from and to the islands Monday afternoon. However, Binter stated that conditions remain unsafe and all transfers will be cancelled until Tuesday.

Reuters drone footage on Sunday showed a stream of hot lava flow down the slopes to the crater. The lava was passing under homes and swathes were engulfed in a mass of older, slower moving lava.

There have not been any fatalities, or severe injuries, however, 15% of the island’s banana crops could be in danger, which would jeopardize thousands upon thousands of jobs.

La Palma is home to over 83,000 people. It’s part of the archipelago that makes up the Canary Islands.

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