Lava Continues to Bear Down on Spain’s Canary Island
Lava continued to bear down Wednesday on La Palma, one of the Spanish Canary Islands, as residents fled following Sunday’s volcanic eruption.
More than 6,800 people have been evacuated from the island, one of the archipelago’s smaller and least populated, since Sunday.
The Associated Press reported that lava has engulfed and destroyed 320 buildings so far.
No fatalities or injuries have yet to be reported.
A wall of lava as high as 12 meters faced a village on La Palma on Wednesday, and experts predicted that it would continue to spread for the next few days, destroying homes and crops.
The eruption, the first on the Canary Islands in 50 years, sent lava and smoke spewing into the air as the lava flowed toward the sea.
In the hours before the eruption, a large increase in seismic activity around the volcano was reported.
Authorities say the eruption would likely continue for several days. Given the uncertainty about which direction the lava will flow, people with mobility issues have been evacuated from several coastal towns.
Airspace around the Canaries remains open.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez delayed his trip to the United Nations General Assembly in New York and instead visited the affected area Monday. Speaking from New York on Wednesday, Sanchez said he felt confident about the island’s reconstruction.