Streams of hot molten rock from La Cumbre Vieja volcano engulfed pools and homes in hellish scenes as it tore through El Paso.
The unstoppable force of nature flowed at 700 meters per hour on Monday with a temperature of over 1,000 ° C, according to the Canary Islands Institute of Volcanology.
At least 150 homes were destroyed and 6,000 people evacuated after Sunday’s eruption, before new lava floods erupted Monday night after a new volcano vent opened.
He has already decimated banana plantations, a school and hundreds of homes in El Paso.
Shocking video footage shows a river of orange-tipped volcanic rock mercilessly surging through homes and pools as it heads towards the Atlantic Ocean.
Experts fear that reaching the sea could create explosions and clouds of toxic gases – causing further damage to the health and homes of residents.
Acid smoke could significantly reduce visibility at sea, forcing the closure of the navigation area to the west of the island.
The head of government of the Canary Islands, Angel Victor Torres, told SER radio: “There will be considerable material damage,” he said. “We hope there will be no bodily injuries. “
So far, no deaths or injuries have been reported, as the magma has spread to a sparsely populated area of La Palma.
The island’s president urged people to stay away from the “dark” area, explaining that the lava wall “consumes homes, infrastructure [and] crops on its way to the coast ”.
Spain’s Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto has come under fire after encouraging tourists to enjoy the “wonderful spectacle” – as thousands of residents lose their homes and belongings.
“There are no restrictions on getting to the island,” she told Spanish radio.
“On the contrary, we pass the information on so that tourists know that they can go to the island and enjoy something unusual, see it for themselves. “
WEEKS TO COME
Volcanologists fear that the eruption will continue for weeks when it is estimated that up to 10,000 people could be evacuated in the coming days.
Residents who are not yet in the “danger zone” have been ordered to keep windows and doors closed and to shut off water, gas and electricity sources.
People are also encouraged to keep their phones and battery operated radios with them at all times and those with pets should follow evacuation guidelines.
Four villages are the main source of concern, including El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane, Canary Islands regional president Angel Victor Torres said Monday morning.
Around 500 tourists were rescued from a hotel in the resort town of Puerto Naos and were given emergency accommodation in a former barracks in Santa Cruz.
The UK government has issued a warning to holidaymakers planning to travel to and from the luxury holiday destination after the volcano began to rumble and show signs of activity last week.
TIPS FOR BRITISH
The UK government said last night: “On Sunday September 19, 2021, around 3:15 pm local time, there was a volcanic eruption on the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma.
“The immediate area of Cabeza de Vaca, El Paso has been evacuated. If you are in an affected area, you should follow the advice of local authorities, including social media updates from Cabildo de La Palma.
“If you are planning to visit the island imminently, we encourage you to contact your tour operators and airlines. “
The eruption came after a week of seismic activity that saw a thousand people evacuated from their homes.
The Minister of Science and Innovation, Diana Morant said: “There is still no scientific answer on the duration of the eruption of La Palma”
Even if, after analyzing the lava and the gases, she said: “we are talking about a period of between one and three weeks”.
A magnitude 3.8 earthquake was recorded before the eruption as vibrations from seismic activity were felt at the surface.
Roads were closed due to the blast and authorities urged onlookers not to approach the area.
La Palma has a population of 85,000 and is one of the eight Canary Islands in Spain.
Last week, Spain’s National Geographic Institute said it had detected 4,222 tremors in what scientists are calling a swarm of earthquakes around the island of La Palma since last Saturday.
An earthquake swarm is a group of earthquakes in an area for a short time and can indicate an impending eruption.
Since last Saturday, there have been nearly a thousand earthquakes on the islands.
On Tuesday, the regional government of the Canaries put the island on yellow alert for an eruption.
The last eruption on the Canary Islands occurred underwater off the coast of El Hierro Island in 2011 and lasted for five months.