Volcanic eruption La Palma calls for new evacuations

A sustained volcanic eruption on the Canary island of La Palma has required new evacuations. Between seven- and eight hundred residents were ordered to leave home and hearth by a new stream of lava that progressively moves towards the sea.

Since the beginning of the volcano outbreak over three weeks ago, a total of around 6700 people had to leave their homes, almost 8% of the total population. By now, around 1200 homes and other buildings have been destroyed by the all-destructive, red-hot lava flow. The village of Todoque has almost completely disappeared. Because the authorities cleared areas on time, there were no casualties.

The new evacuees were given the time to bring documents, personal items, pets and other items of value. More than 3,000 residents had to stay in on Monday because the lava had reached a cement factory. Feared dangerous poison fumes. The factory has now been swallowed up by the lava flow.

The eruption that began on September 19 has now destroyed nearly 6 square kilometers. Many residents who had to flee will never be able to return. Their homes are gone and reconstruction is not possible for decades to come.