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Canary Islands Volcano Has Now Engulfed At Least 20 Houses In Lava

by : Hannah Smith on : 20 Sep 2021 11:49
Canary Islands Volcano Has Now Engulfed At Least 20 Houses In LavaAlamy

At least 20 houses have been destroyed after being engulfed in lava from the La Palma volcano, local officials have said.

Around 5,000 people are understood to have been evacuated from La Palma – part of the Spanish Canary Islands – following the volcano’s eruption yesterday, September 19, as streams of molten lava flowed towards villages and tourist hotspots on the island’s Cumbre Vieja national park.

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Authorities confirmed some of the 20 homes had been rented out to tourists visiting the island, with around 500 non-locals among the evacuees.

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‘It is unstoppable, we can do absolutely nothing other than to follow up so that there is no greater damage than we already know there will be,’ said Sergio Rodriguez, mayor of the village of El Paso, which is in the path of the lava.

Video taken from within the national park shows thick orange rivers of lava flowing down the hillside and towards buildings and farmland on the lower part of the island, as members of the Spanish Civil Guard went door to door checking for stragglers during the evacuation process. No injuries have been reported following the eruption.

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Experts have warned that while the eruption appears to be concentrated in one area at the moment, the situation remains volatile, with Spanish volcanology professor Stavros Meletlidis telling The Independent ‘eruptive dynamics can change in minutes’.

Lava spewing from the La Palma volcano (Alamy)Alamy

However Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said he was confident the situation was under control, telling reporters on the island ‘we have all the resources and all the troops, the citizens can rest easy’.

The La Palma volcano is one of the most active in Europe, with its most recent eruption occurring in 1971. Seismologists had been warning of an imminent eruption after recording more than 22,000 tremors were reported in Cumbre Vieja in the space of a week.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah is a London-based journalist covering news and features for UNILAD. She's especially interested in social and political activism.

Topics: News, no-article-matching, Now, Spain, Volcano

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The Independent
  1. The Independent

    La Palma volcano: burning lava destroys at least 20 houses after thousands evacuated