Cumbre Vieja volcano has been spewing huge amounts of lava for more than three weeks. A cement factory in La Palma was set on fire on Monday and toxic gases were released into the air. In the afternoon, about three thousand people from two localities were evacuated, and school lessons were suspended in three of them.
A cement plant on the Spanish island of La Palma burst into flames from hot lava flow from the Cumbre Vieja volcano on Monday. The plant burned down completely. Toxic gases were released into the air due to the seizure of the factory by volcanic magma.
As a result, around 3,000 people were evacuated from El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane on Monday afternoon. La Palma’s civil defense has announced that schools have been suspended in both localities and in Tazacorte. According to the Canary Islands education authorities, classes will not resume until Thursday. – We are analyzing the level of harmful gases in the air – said the head of the Spanish National Geographical Institute (IGN) Maria Jose Blanco.
On Sunday, after a series of earthquakes, the area hit the area boulders made of lava, the size of three-story buildings. The Polish Geological Institute (ING) reported that the magnitude of 3.8 was the strongest of the 21 earthquakes.
The whole place disappeared under the lava
The Canary Islands Volcanology Institute has confirmed that the lava, with temperatures reaching 1,240 degrees Celsius, has destroyed the last few houses left in Todoque. The first lava tongues reached there just after the volcanic eruption began, now the element has finished its destruction.
Todoque is situated 300 meters above sea level, on the slope of the volcanic cone of the same name. It used to be an agricultural village, recently it has had the status of a popular holiday destination, with houses and rooms for rent for tourists, as well as numerous shops, restaurants and bars.
According to the estimates of Spanish volcanologists, during the last 24 hours there was a more abundant outflow of volcanic magma, which already covers nearly 600 hectares of La Palma. It was specified that banana growers and vineyard owners suffered the greatest losses among farmers. In total, lava has destroyed 150 hectares of farmland since the eruption on September 19.
How the volcanic cone collapsed
On Saturday, the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute (Involcan) reported that the northern part of the volcano’s crater was torn apart. Because of this, new lava flows have emerged heading towards the Atlantic.
“The collapse of the northern part of the volcano released large blocks of rock material and resulted in new flows along the already evacuated areas,” the Spanish Department of Homeland Security tweeted. It was then added that “the lava had reached the industrial estate of Camino de la Gata and new buildings.”
The photos below show the stages of the collapse of the northern part of the volcanic cone.
The airport is operational again
It is estimated that nearly 1,200 buildings have disappeared from the earth’s surface as a result of the eruption throughout the island. About six thousand people have been evacuated since the beginning of the volcanic eruption. The Canary Island authorities estimate that lava has already flooded over 525 hectares. They expect that on Monday the new stream could reach the southwestern coast of the island and flow into the Atlantic.
On Monday morning, air traffic was restored at the airport in La Palma, despite the intensification of the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano. Aircraft traffic was halted on Thursday due to the large amount of ash from the volcano.
Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles announced that since Monday Spanish navy personnel have been helping to remove volcanic ash that covers a large part of the island.
Reuters, PAP, tvnmeteo.pl
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / Elvira Urquijo