New metre-high lava flows are destroying buildings on La Palma

On the Canary island of La Palma, new lava flows have emerged as part of the Cumbre Vieja volcano chain has broken down. The current is as high as three-storey buildings in places, reports the Spanish Institute of Geology and Mining.

Yesterday, the edge on the north side of the crater collapsed. The lava flows through the area that had already been evacuated and destroyed the last buildings in the village of Todoque that were still standing. Since the beginning of the eruption on September 19, around 6,000 of the 83,000 islanders have left their homes.

Earthquakes have been reestablished at the volcano today, the most powerful of which had a force of 3.8. Yesterday, an ash cloud emerged at the volcano, reaching a height of about 3.5 kilometres. Lightning bolts were also on display. The electrical charge is caused by ash particles colliding.

Damage runs in hundreds of millions

Residents of homes threatened by the new lava flows were given the chance to extract items from their homes yesterday. Empty trucks drove into the area and came back with mattresses, furniture and other stuff. No one has been hurt so far.

In recent weeks, lava flows on La Palma have destroyed nearly 1200 buildings and more than 150 hectares of farmland. The damage is estimated to be around 400 million euros.

The La Palma airport was closed on Thursday due to the ash from the volcano but is now open again. On Friday, air traffic around the nearby island of Tenerife was also affected by the ash cloud.

Airlines flying to the Canary Islands are advised to bring additional fuel in case the landing has to be postponed or deviated.