Wed, 26 Jan 2022

The Cumbre Vieja has spewed fresh lava flows, devouring everything in its path, with the volcano apocalypse running into its third month.

Footage shot on Thursday shows flows of molten rock slowly engulfing tree after tree. In recent weeks, the volcano has been causing scores of tremors on a daily basis.

Since the start of the eruption on September 19, lava has covered some 1,073 hectares on La Palma Island, according to the EU satellite monitoring system Copernicus, razing over 2,650 buildings in its path. More than 7,000 residents have been evacuated.

Aside from the obvious danger that lava poses to any living creature in its immediate vicinity, when the molten rock meets sea waters it can also emit toxic gases. On Monday authorities ordered the residents of three coastal towns to stay indoors as thick plumes of vapor billowed from the sea. The lockdown was lifted on Wednesday, though, when the volcanic fumes had dissipated to a safer level. However, people living in the area have still been advised to wear FFP2 masks.

The ash and smoke that the Cumbre Vieja is sending into the air are making flights to and out of La Palma unsafe, with the local airport being shut from Saturday till Thursday morning.

The eruption has also seen the island of La Palma gain an additional 46 hectares as lava flowing into the sea cooled down and solidified.


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