On Friday, the Spanish Institute of Geology and Mining (IGME) said that another crater has opened at the Cumbre Vieja volcano, from which lava has erupted and is heading towards the sea on the Canary Islands’ La Palma island.
The new chimney is located north of the two previous vents, and the hot magma flowing from it extends hundreds of meters from the previous lava flow and threatens new farmland as well as populated areas, MTI writes.
People were previously evacuated from the higher parts of the La Laguna area in Todoc as a precaution, but residents now fear the homes they left behind will be destroyed.
Experts are confident that the current direction of the new lava flow will be shifted depending on the terrain conditions.
Volcanic activity intensified in the last hours with the opening of the new chimney and was preceded by minor earthquakes. Coarse-grained ash rains from the sky, so many ride the streets with parachutes to protect themselves.
In Tazacorte, on the western side of the island, a curfew is still in effect, as lava flowed into the Antarctic Ocean a few kilometers from the city.
According to the data of the measuring stations, the air quality in the region is deteriorating, and the level of sulfur dioxide has increased, but at the moment it has remained below the threshold value harmful to health. On-site reports indicate a strong sulfur smell in the air.
The lava flowing into the sea created a new peninsula, the size of which has already exceeded 24 hectares.
According to satellite data from the European Union’s Earth observation program Copernicus, 870 buildings have been destroyed so far and nearly three hundred others have been damaged, with lava covering about 700 hectares and volcanic ash covering more than three thousand hectares. Of the roads on the island, 27.7 kilometers were destroyed.
In Spain, various fundraising campaigns are underway to help the stricken island. For example, in addition to eating the island’s best bananas, celebrities such as soccer player Gerard Pique or 12 Michelin-starred chef Martin Berasategui campaign on their social sites.
According to the Association of Banana Producers of the Canary Islands (Asprocan), the sector’s losses have already reached 72 million euros (25.7 billion forints).
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