Volcano erupts on Atlantic island; lava threatens some homes
MADRID — Authorities accelerated evacuations of 1 ,000 persons after a weeklong buildup in seismic activity. The lava flow had crept towards isolated homes and forced authorities to accelerate evacuations.
The Canary Islands Volcanology Institute reported that Cumbre Vieja erupted, the last time it erupted being 1971.. Scientists had been watching the eruption closely after the accumulation of moltenlava beneath the surface and several days of small earthquakes.
Mariano Hernandez was the president of La Palma. He said that there were no immediate reports about injuries or deaths as a result of the eruption. He stated that there were five volcanic points, two of which were spewing magma.
The explosion occurred in Cabeza de Vaca, an area on the west slope of the volcanic ridge that descends to the coast. The black jets that shot rocks in the air produced tiny flecks of red.
One black lava flow had a burning tip and was moving towards El Paso. Sergio Rodriguez, the Mayor, stated that 300 residents in immediate danger were evacuated and taken to El Paso’s soccer field. The explosion caused roads to be closed and authorities advised the curious to avoid the area.
La Palma, with a population of 85,000, is one of eight islands in Spain’s Canary Islands archipelago off Africa’s western coast. They are 100 kilometers (60 mi (from Morocco) their closest point to Africa.
Itahiza Dominicez, head for seismology at Spain’s National Geology Institute said that while it was too soon to know how long the eruption will last, previous eruptions on the Canary Islands lasted several weeks or even months .”
The most recent eruption on the Canary Islands took place underwater, just off the coast of El Hierro, 2011. That eruption last five months.
Spanish Prime minister Pedro Sanchez cancelled his trip from Spain to New York in order to travel to the Canary Islands archipelago.
La Palma authorities had begun to evacuate people with limited mobility just days before the “earthquake” swarm. The area around the ridge’s southern tip is not densely populated. Residents in five villages nearby were already warned to be alert and prepared to evacuate their homes in the event of an eruption.
A 3.8-magnitude earthquake was recorded prior to the eruption. Vibrations from seismic activity were also felt at the surface.
The Scientific Committee of the Volcano Risk Prevention Plan stated that stronger earthquakes were “likely to be felt and could cause damage to buildings.” It also pointed out that the southwest coast of the island was at risk of rock falls and landslides.