MADRID – New red-hot lava cascades fell into the Atlantic Ocean off La Palma in Spain on Wednesday morning, sending plumes of white smoke and spreading a volcanic rock shelf created by earlier flows.
The molten rock stream from the Cumbre Vieja volcano, which began to erupt in mid-September, reached the water near the popular Los Guirres beach surf spot shortly before 2 a.m., according to the Ministry of Transportation.
A video uploaded by the Spanish Institute of Geology and Mining showed rivers of molten rock sliding into the sea and large rocks rolling down a cliff, causing a cone of debris to emerge from the waterline.
Unlike the first time the lava reached the ocean, just over a month ago, authorities said it was not necessary for residents to stay indoors.
“No new confinements are necessary because the populations are far from the point of contact with the sea that occurred last night,” a spokesman for the emergency services told Reuters.
Few people live in the affected area, which are mostly banana plantations.
Early in the eruption, authorities feared that the reaction between the superheated lava and seawater could set off powerful explosions and set off clouds of toxic gas.
During the last major eruption on the island, about 50 years ago, a man died after inhaling these gases.
The La Palma council said on Tuesday that seismic activity around the eruption site, as well as emissions of toxic sulfur dioxide, had decreased and air quality remained good over most of the island.