The erupted volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma is becoming more and more dangerous. Lava now comes out again from two further crevices in its cone.
Authorities reported “intense” volcanic activity around the Cumbre Vieja. The new fissures, about 15 meters apart, sent streaks of fiery red and orange molten rock towards the sea, parallel to the previous current that reached the Atlantic earlier this week.
The volcano is “much more aggressive” than it did when it erupted two weeks ago, said Miguel Angel Morcuende, technical director of the Canary Islands’ volcano emergency department.
The scientists registered eight new earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.5 overnight. The eruption threw gas and ash up to six kilometers into the air, the authorities said.
The evacuation of more than 6,000 people since the September 19 outbreak helped ensure there were no fatalities.
The sulfur dioxide values in the area rose, but did not pose a health risk, announced the government of La Palma. Still, she advised residents to stay indoors. She also recommended that islanders wear face masks and eye protection to protect themselves from heavy volcanic ash rain.
Scientists estimate that the volcano has emitted around 80 million cubic meters of molten rock so far – more than twice as much as when the island erupted in 1971.
The lava has so far destroyed or partially destroyed more than 1,000 buildings, including houses and agricultural infrastructure, and buried around 709 hectares of land.
La Palma, on which about 85,000 people live, who live mainly from fruit growing and tourism, belongs to the volcanic Canary Islands, an archipelago off northwest Africa that belongs to Spain.
The island is about 35 kilometers long and at its widest point 20 kilometers wide. Even if the volcano is still active, life goes on as usual on most of the island.