Lava flows from the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma in the tourist Canary archipelago have engulfed more than 100 homes that “melt like butter” according to locals.
“So far, five thousand people have been evacuated, while 100 homes have been destroyed in the towns of Los Llanos, El Paso and Tatacorte,” Los Llanos de Aridani municipal councilor, Lorena Hernandez Labrador, told AFP on Monday.
A spokesman for the regional government confirmed to “AFP” that checking the toll is “still ongoing”, while no casualties have yet been announced.
“The houses are melting from the lava like butter, and there is only a black piece of land left,” Celia Diana, director of the Las Norias tourist complex, told RIA Novosti news agency.
The Spanish businesswoman explained that the lava destroyed 15 of the 100 tourist homes belonging to the “Canary Islands Online” company, in which Diana works.
Videos circulated on social media showed massive lava flows burning trees, completely covering roads and rushing toward homes through open windows.
According to the Canary Islands Institute of Volcanology, the lava is advancing at a speed of 700 meters per hour and its temperature is about 1,000 degrees Celsius.
The municipality of El Paso, one of the four villages that were preemptively evacuated by the authorities, confirmed that “at least twenty homes” were “completely destroyed” there.
Cumbre Vieja volcano, located in the center of La Palma, has been under close observation for a week due to the significant increase in seismic activity. On Sunday, it erupted shortly after 15.00 local time, the first eruption on the island in 50 years.
The amount of lava is estimated at between 17 and 20 million cubic meters, according to the president of the Canary Islands, Angel Victor Torres, who warned in a video clip posted on Twitter that the eruption “will continue” for this reason.
Source: “AFP” + “Novosti”
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