Lava from La Palma volcano surges after crater collapses

Lava reaches the sea on La Palma

More earthquakes have rattled the Spanish island of La Palma as the lava flow from an erupting volcano surged when part of the crater collapsed.

Officials said they did not expect to evacuate any more people from the area, because the fiery molten rock was following the same route to the sea as earlier flows.

Spain’s National Geographical Institute said it recorded two quakes on Monday that had a magnitude of more than 3.0, two weeks after the volcano erupted on one of the Canary Islands off north-west Africa.

“It’s not over yet, we don’t even know how long there is to go,” said the Canary Islands’ regional president, Angel Víctor Torres. “We’re in nature’s hands.”

Lava reaches the sea on La Palma

Most of La Palma, where some 85,000 people live, has been unaffected by the eruption. Swift evacuations helped avoid casualties from the eruption.

But the lava is causing significant damage to property, public infrastructure and farmland.

It has so far partially or completely wrecked more than 1,000 buildings, mostly homes. It has also destroyed almost 34km of roads and entombed 400 hectares of land, according to a European Union satellite monitoring agency.

Local authorities prepared to distribute drinking water to homes after the lava flow broke public supply pipes.

The Canary Islands volcanic emergency committee ordered emergency workers and scientists to pull back from the area around the volcano due to poor air quality.

The seismic activity and flow of lava have been uneven, fluctuating from day to day.

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