Cumbre Vieja volcano: another 500 inhabitants evacuated to La Palma

On the Spanish island of La Palma in the Canaries, the opening of a new eruptive mouth of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, led to the evacuation of 500 additional residents last night.

These latest evacuations bring the total number of people forced to leave their homes to 6,000. Since the volcano erupted on Sunday, lava has covered 103 hectares of land and has already destroyed 166 homes.

The opening of this eruptive mouth came after a new earthquake with a magnitude of 4.1, recorded at 10:32 p.m., according to the Canary Islands Volcanological Institute (Involcan).

The footage showed lines of cars evacuating through the night.

The authorities are now awaiting the arrival of lava in the sea, initially scheduled for Monday evening but delayed by the slowing of the flows.

A feared encounter because of its potential dangerousness because it can give rise to explosions, waves of boiling water and the emanation of toxic gases, according to the United States Institute of Geological Studies (USGS).

The regional government of the Canaries therefore asked the curious not to go to the area and decreed an “exclusion radius of 2 nautical miles” around the place where the arrival of the lava flows is expected.

Cumbre Vieja spews columns of smoke up to several hundred meters high and between 8,000 and 10,500 tonnes of sulfur dioxide per day, according to Involcan, but despite this, the airspace has not been closed.

The Spanish airport manager Aena announced on Tuesday morning that all the flights scheduled for Monday at La Palma airport had been carried out and that 48 others were scheduled for Tuesday.

This eruption caused no casualties, it is the first since 1971 on this island populated by nearly 85,000 inhabitants.

Cumbre Vieja had been under close surveillance for a week due to intense seismic activity and according to Involcan, the eruption could last “several weeks or even months”.

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