A signal of hope, an iconic photograph of a cottage on La Palma was described miraculously the only one in the area spared by a stream of lava. A few days later, the house was destroyed. New lava flows caused by the persistent eruptions of the Canary Island volcano have swallowed it up.
“Last night there were constant explosions to be heard,” says correspondent Rop Zoutberg, who is on La Palma. “It looks like an air bombardment every now and then.” The explosions are partly caused by the lava coming into contact with plastic banana greenhouses.
The eruptions seem to have ended up in a different phase. Previous eruptions produced viscous lava that moved slowly, but the lava that is now coming out of the volcano is more liquid and thus faster. It seems that the house, built by a Dutch woman for a Danish couple, has been destroyed as a result.
See footage of Spanish TV from the destroyed house here:
The Spanish government has now declared La Palma a disaster area. EUR 10.5 million has been committed to aid measures and emergency subsidies. The volcano has 258 hectares of land covered by lava, 700 houses and buildings have been affected.
It is still feared that the lava reaches the sea. If the power comes into contact with water, it can lead to heavy explosions and the release of toxic gas. For now, the lava is 800 metres away from the coast. Zoutberg: “Its really different from a river where you can better predict how high the water comes and when.”
The volcano eruption began on September 19. Air traffic has been largely silent due to the ash that the volcano emits for four days.