Volcanic Eruption La Palma Necessitates New Evacuations

An ongoing volcanic eruption on the Canary Island of La Palma has necessitated new evacuations. Between the seven and eight hundred residents were ordered to leave home and hearth because of a new lava flow gradually advancing towards the sea.


Since the start of the volcano’s eruption more than three weeks ago, a total of about 6,700 people have been forced to leave their homes, almost 8 percent of the total population. The devastating, red-hot lava flow has now destroyed about 1,200 homes and other buildings. The village of Todoque has almost wholly disappeared. Because the authorities had areas cleared in time, there were no casualties.

The new evacuees were given time to take documents, personal items, pets and other valuables with them. On Monday, more than 3,000 residents had to stay indoors because the lava had reached a cement factory. Dangerous poisonous fumes were feared. The lava flow has since swallowed the factory.

The eruption that started on September 19 has now devastated nearly 6 square kilometres. Many residents who had to flee can never return. Their houses are gone, and reconstruction is not possible for decades.

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