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Spain’s La Palma gains ground from the sea as lava piles up By Reuters


© Reuters. Following the eruption of the volcano at La Palma (Canary Island), Spain on September 30, 2021. Lava flows and smoke rises. This was seen from Tazacorte Port. REUTERS/Borja Suarez


By Borja Suarez and Marco Trujillo

LA PALMA, Spain (Reuters) – Lava from the Cumbre Vieja volcano on Spain’s La Palma poured into the Atlantic Ocean for the second day on Thursday, creating a rocky outcrop more than 500 metres wide that extends the island’s coastline further to the west.

Vicente Soler from Spain’s National Research Council said the flow of lava into the sea made it less likely that it would cause any damage to the land.

Since the eruption of the volcano on September 19, thousands have been evacuated. The lava flow, which flows into the sea, has caused more than 800 building destructions, along with banana plantations and roads, and many other infrastructure damage.

Soler posted a YouTube video on social media saying that this outlet “represents the most favorable condition for the lava stream not to continue invading territory as it had been doing up to now”.

Near the Tazacorte town, the lava had traveled nearly 10 days downhill until it reached the ocean. It finally arrived at the ocean on Tuesday night just before midnight. Once it reaches the sea, the lava rapidly cools, binding the rock to the shoreline and expanding the island’s area.

Authorities said that the air was safe to inhale inland, despite fears about toxic gasses from the lava reacting directly with seawater.

Authorities warned that the ash from crater might block sunlight and reduce visibility.

The evacuation of several coastal villages was necessary to protect the environment. But, many banana growers were allowed to work in their fields.

Reuters correspondents said that although the eruption seemed to have subsided by around 1000 GMT, no lava had been expelled from its crater. However, smoke continued to rise.

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