Lava from volcano on Spain’s La Palma forces 800 to evacuate

LOS LLANOS DE ARIDANE , Canary Islands -- Hundreds of residents in Spain's Canary Islands were worried Wednesday about their homes and properties as a new river lava from an erupting volcano threatened another area of La Palma.

Lava from volcano on Spain’s La Palma forces 800 to evacuate

LOS LLANOS DE ARIDANE , Canary Islands -- Hundreds of residents in Spain's Canary Islands were worried Wednesday about their homes and properties as a new river lava from an erupting volcano threatened another area of La Palma.

Authorities on the island ordered evacuation of 800 people from Los Llanos de Aridane, a coastal town. The lava had taken a different course towards the Atlantic Ocean and placed their homes in danger. This was the first mass evacuation since approximately 6,000 people were warned to evacuate immediately after the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on Sept. 19.

Volcanologists discovered that a new flow of lava north of the main river molten rocks had branched and was headed toward an area inhabited outside of the evacuation zone.

"A portion of the neighborhood had been evacuated but, given the evolution of lava stream it was deemed necessary for this particular zone to be cleared," Los Llano De Aridane Mayor Maria Garcia stated to Spanish state broadcaster TVE.

Residents in La Laguna had just a few hours to collect their most valuable belongings before they were forced to leave. School employees were helped by volunteers, and others loaded cars and trucks with furniture. Individual families asked for assistance from police to return to the exclusion zone in order to retrieve their belongings.

The fourth visit of Pedro Sanchez, the Spanish Prime Minister, to the island since the eruption began on Wednesday was his fourth.

Sanchez stated, "Unfortunately, we do not have any news from the scientific committee that indicates that the volcano's activity will be decreasing." It is hard after many nights and days of suffering. But I ask that you remain patient because there is no way to stop the volcano from moving.

Sanchez's government has committed 214 million euros ($247million) to rebuild homes, farms, and businesses in the affected areas.

The 24 day-old eruption of the volcano that shattered the Cumbre Vieja mountain range has lasted longer than any previous eruption in La Palma, 1971. This is the third eruption of the island in the last century.

Many of those who were forced to flee their homes found shelter with relatives or friends. Around 280 people live in hotels. Authorities are looking to buy empty or new homes for people whose homes have been destroyed.

La Palma is a part of Spain's Canary Islands. This archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean off northwest Africa has a thriving economy that depends on tourism and cultivation of the Canary Plantain.

Over 1,400 buildings were destroyed by the lava, including homes and farms. The island covered 656 hectares (1.621 acres). There was also 90 hectares (over 200 acre) of plantains. There have been no deaths.

Updated Date: 16 October 2021, 15:37

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