Lava from the volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma which flows into the Atlantic has already gained ground on the sea and forms a “tongue” of more than ten hectares, the Canary Islands Volcanological Institute said on Thursday ( Involcan).
“It is estimated that it already exceeds ten hectares”, explained to AFP the spokesperson of Involcan, David Calvo, who specified that more precise measurements would be carried out in the coming hours using drones. .
The lava flow from the volcano Old Summit, which erupted 11 days ago, finally reached the sea overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday after traveling six kilometers, devastating everything in its path. The volcano has since continued to expel lava and the flow to flow into the ocean.
“The rivers of lava continue to descend by the channel” borrowed since Tuesday evening “to the sea”, detailed David Calvo.
The lava reached the sea without causing the most feared effects yet, namely explosions or bubbling waves. This encounter between lava at over 1000 ° C and seawater, however, produced potentially toxic gases.
“There is always a column of gas, like the one we could observe yesterday,” said David Calvo, adding that the wind, which had helped Wednesday to quickly dissipate these gases, was less strong Thursday.
The town hall of La Palma, the local government of the island, has asked several neighborhoods of Tazacorte to confine themselves, where the lava has thrown into the sea, in order to avoid possible gas poisoning.
“The eruption affected about 476 hectares” of this island of about 70,000 hectares and destroyed “744 buildings”, the local authority of the island said on Twitter.
Among the 85,000 inhabitants of the island, 6,000 had to leave their homes in haste with the eruption, which also has significant consequences for the cultivation of bananas, the main economic activity in the area.