A lava flow that originated at Cumbre Vieja volcano in the south of the Canary Island of La Palma continued to make its way to the island on Tuesday, destroying everything it encountered. Toxic gases are feared if lava enters the ocean.
The president of the Canary Islands, Angel Victor Torres, said the lava was “moving relentlessly towards the sea and there is nothing we can do about it”, and warned that the lava would destroy homes.
So far, 166 buildings have been destroyed and lava has covered 103 hectares. Although the volcanic eruption, the first since 1971 on this island, did not result in casualties, the devastation is enormous. According to Torres, it is more than 400 million euros.
The images show meter-high black and orange streams slowly descending the sides of the volcano, engulfing trees, roads and houses.
waves of boiling water
If lava flows into the sea, it could lead to erupting pieces of lava, waves of boiling water or emitting toxic gases, USGS reports. That’s because the clouds that form when seawater comes into contact with lava are acidic. This can be dangerous for those who get too close.
The current is currently about two kilometers from the sea and is moving at a speed of 200 meters per hour. However, authorities cannot determine when the lava can reach the ocean.
The regional government is calling on residents to cover their noses and mouths when going outside, and has set up a safety zone around the area where the lava will flow into the sea.