As a Canary Islands volcano erupts, lava engulfs 100 homes.
Local authorities reported on Monday that a rush of lava damaged approximately 100 homes in Spain’s Canary Islands a day after a volcano erupted, forcing 5,000 people to flee the area.
On Sunday around 3:00 p.m. (1400 GMT), the Cumbre Vieja erupted, sending plumes of thick black smoke into the sky and spitting molten lava down the mountainside on the island of La Palma.
Off the coast of Morocco, the island is one of the most westerly of the Atlantic archipelago.
Lorena Hernandez Labrador, a councilman in Los Llanos de Ariadne, a village several kilometers from the volcano, said, “Right now we have evacuated 5,000 people and roughly 100 homes have been destroyed.”
On Twitter, images showed slow-moving lava crawling down the mountainside, with pockets of flame bursting as it rumbled closer and closer to a clump of homes just metres away.
Stacks of molten lava erupted on a house’s terrace there.
Mariano Hernandez Zapata, La Palma’s chief official, described the situation as “desolate,” adding that the lava was “on average around six meters (20 feet) high.”
“This lava tongue is devouring everything in its path. He told Spain’s state television, “It’s horrible to see how many homes have just gone up in flames.”
It also destroyed a local primary school, which had 25 students enrolled, according to the headmistress of Cadena Ser radio.
“We hoped it was going to be spared up until approximately two hours ago, but it has regrettably been entirely devoured. “It’s completely destroyed,” Angeles Nieves added, her voice cracking.
Thousands of people were displaced from their homes, many of whom were unsure whether they would have anything to return to.
“We’re watching the news right now, and the lava is 700 meters away from our house. Angie Chaux, 27, who fled with her husband and three-year-old son, told AFP, “I’m terribly frightened because we don’t know what’s going to happen to it.”
“We were given three minutes by the cops to gather our belongings. It all happened in a flash.”
La Cumbre Vieja is located on a ridge in the south of La Palma and is home to approximately 80,000 inhabitants.
Following a recent increase in seismic activity and magma displacements, experts had been keeping a careful eye on the volcano.
On September 11, a “earthquake swarm” – a series of seismic events that occur over a short period of time – began.
Since then, tens of thousands of tremors have occurred, the greatest of which had a magnitude of nearly four. Brief News from Washington Newsday.