The Canary Islands' first volcanic eruption since the 1970s has resulted in the evacuation of 5,000 people and more than 100 destroyed building structures.
The Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcan) said lava flows from a sparsely populated area of La Palma are moving at 2,300 feet per hour.
El #volcán de #CumbreVieja, en la isla de #LaPalma (#Canarias) ha erupcionado y lleva desde el día de ayer expulsando lava y devastando a su paso casas, tierras agrícolas y ganaderas. Toda nuestra fuerza y ánimo a las personas afectadas. Estamos con ustedes!!!#desastresnaturales pic.twitter.com/w9e24ZNpYs— Ong Balanced World (@OngBalanced) September 20, 2021
🇪🇸🌋🏝️ #LaPalma | #Erupción | #CumbreVieja— Diario HOY (@diariohoynet) September 20, 2021
El volcán Cumbre Vieja de La Palma entró en erupción
El Cumbre Vieja se encontraba bajo un elevado nivel de alerta desde hace una semana debido a un incremento de la actividad sísmica en la isla.https://t.co/5FDUVwd10F pic.twitter.com/lnnZXkFiw2
🌋🛑 Espectáculo de la naturaleza y tragedia para muchas familias que lo están perdiendo todo. Esta tarde en @cuatroaldia la #ErupcionenLaPalma como nunca antes se ha visto #CumbreVieja @cuatro pic.twitter.com/RTYvaWUUZC— Alejandro Rodríguez (@alejandrogueztv) September 20, 2021
Here are stunning pictures of the lava flow.
"The lava is moving towards the coast, and the damage will be material. According to experts, there are about 17-20 million cubic meters of lava," regional president Angel Victor Torres told Cadena Ser radio.
Volcanologist Vicente Soler of Spain's Higher Council said, "the material appears to be very fluid; the lava flows will reach the sea sooner or later."
The lava flows are protruding out of two fissures of Cumbre Vieja, which belongs to a series of volcanoes that last had a major eruption in 1971 for several weeks. Experts said the current eruption could last for weeks or even months.
After thousands of small earthquakes were reported, La Palma had been on high alert for more than a week. Then on Sunday, another swarm of small earthquakes shook part of the island before the eruption.
By Monday morning, Spain's Civil Guard said more than 5,000 people had been evacuated. There's the possibility up to 10,000 residents, and some tourist will need to be evacuated if conditions worsened.
So far, there have been no visibility problems with surrounding airspace, and planes are operating normally across the island chain. Local airline Binter canceled flights earlier but resumed service later on Monday.