The authorities on the Canary island of La Palma have had to evacuate more people in the town of El Paso due to a volcanic eruption. Spanish media reports that around 6,000 out of the 83,000 people on the island have so far sought a safe return due to the eruption.
Mayor Sergio Rodriguez said on television that a new lava flow has emerged at Cumbre Vieja volcano. It erupted on Sunday and spit lava hundreds of metres into the sky. La Palma was already shocked by thousands of earth shocks in the days before the eruption.
There have been no casualties due to the eruption as far as we know, but there is a lot of property damage. Lava flows towards the sea and destroys everything in its path. Local authorities say about 170 homes have been destroyed.
When the lava reaches the sea, there is a high probability of releasing toxins. If the hot lava comes into contact with the water, explosions may occur. There may also be a cloud of poison, where chlorine can be released, among other things. For that reason, a coastal strip over a length of about eight kilometers is cleared.
Earlier the expectation was expressed that the lava would reach the sea around 8pm on Monday night, but that did not happen. According to experts, the volcano emits less lava, which slows down the flow rate.
Travel Organization TUI reported Monday night that about two hundred Dutch people are on the island. Dozens of those vacationers have been evacuated. Local authorities decided to clear their hotel as access roads threatened to be blocked by the volcanic eruption.