On Friday, the volcano Cumbre Vieja on the island of La Palma threw a new batch of lava into the air. This is the biggest explosion since Sunday. The authorities ordered the evacuation of three more cities. Airlines canceled flights due to a dangerous cloud of gas and ash.
Increasing volcanic explosions on the Spanish island of La Palma forced firefighters to retreat and authorities to evacuate three more cities on Friday. The airlines canceled flights due to a cloud of gas and ash, the largest since the volcanic eruption, on Sunday.
La Palma. “The volcano has entered the explosion phase”
Firefighters withdrew from cleanup work in the city of Todoque on Friday afternoon when a new hole opened up the slope of the volcano, from which more dust and gas began to escape.
Reuters released the account of a witness who saw a huge gray cloud rising from the top of the volcano on Friday afternoon, the largest since the eruption began on Sunday.
– The volcano has entered an explosion phase. (…) The firefighters will no longer operate “- the Tenerife fire brigade, which was delegated to help in La Palma, wrote on Twitter.
La Palma. Volcano eruption. Evacuation of more cities
Authorities ordered the evacuation of the towns of Tajuya, Tacande de Abajo, and parts of Tacande de Arriba that had not yet been evacuated on Friday afternoon, and ordered residents to gather at the local soccer field.
Canary Islands emergency services initially ordered residents to stay indoors to avoid a thick cloud of ash and lava fragments, but later decided to evacuate due to the increased risk of an explosion. Not only people, but also animals were evacuated.
Evacuating people is a top priority, although there are other important tasks as well, such as keeping pets safe, the civil service said on Twitter.
The harvest of the famous Canary Island bananas is under threat
The element threatens, among other things, the banana crops that are crucial for the island’s economy.
“This whole situation is tragic, too tragic,” said Carlos Reinoso, a banana plantation worker. – The fruit is completely destroyed, there is hardly anything left to collect. Everything is damaged – he added. Farmers near the city of Todoque continue their efforts to save as much of their crops as possible. “We’re trying to collect everything we can,” one of them, introducing himself as Roberto, told Reuters as he leaned out of the window of his pickup truck, which he used to take the collected bananas to a safer place.
Sergio Caceres, director of the Asprocan growers’ association, estimated that about 15 percent of the 140 million kilograms of bananas harvested annually in La Palma could be damaged. He pointed out that another threat was related to water pollution.
About a quarter of the famous Canarian bananas are produced in La Palma.
La Palma. The eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano
Lava flows are slowly moving westward from Sunday September 19, incinerating everything they encounter in their path, including homes, schools, and banana plantations that the island exports. Lava has so far destroyed nearly 200 homes and forced thousands of people to flee.
Real estate portal Idealista estimated on Thursday that the volcano has so far destroyed property worth 87 million euros.
Main photo source: Reuters