Thousands Flee La Palma Inferno As Volcanic Lava Licks off whole Villages
Authorities have evacuated about 5,000 people from villages in the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma as lava spews from an erupting volcano, local officials said.
The 15m high lava flow has already swallowed 20 houses in the village of El Paso and sections of roads, Mayor Sergio Rodriguez told TVE radio station on Monday morning (Sep 20).
It is now spreading through the neighbouring village of Los Llanos de Aridane where hundreds of houses are at risk, he said.
"We are monitoring the trajectory of the lava," Rodriguez said.
Since erupting on Sunday afternoon, the volcano has shot lava up hundreds meters into the air and poured flows of molten rock towards the Atlantic Ocean over a sparsely populated area of La Palma, the most northwestern island in the Canaries archipelago.
Local authorities have evacuated about 5,000 people from four villages, including El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane, and no further evacuation are likely to be necessary, Canary Islands regional president Angel Victor Torres said on Monday morning.
"The lava is moving towards the coast and the damage will be material. According to experts there are about 17 to 20 million cubic metres of lava," he said.
No fatalities were reported and none are likely to happen so long as no one behaves recklessly, vulcanologist Nemesio Perez said on Monday.https:msn.com
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