Hundreds more to flee on Spanish island as volcano erupts

La Cumbre Vieja began erupting on September 19 and has already forced more than 6,000 people from their homes.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano spews lava and smoke as it continues to erupt on the Canary Island of La Palma on Tuesday [Sergio Perez/Reuters]

Nearly 1,000 residents have been ordered to evacuate their homes on La Palma in Spain’s Canary Islands as lava continues to ooze from its volcano.

Emergency services wrote on Twitter on Tuesday a new evacuation order was issued “owing to the forecast of the advance of the lava flow”.

“The 700 to 800 people affected by this evacuation order should leave their homes, with their belongings and pets,” the services tweeted, telling residents to go to a meeting point in the western town of Los Llanos de Aridane.

La Cumbre Vieja began erupting on September 19 and has already forced more than 6,000 people from their homes, with lava wrecking 1,200 buildings and scorching 600 hectares (1,400 acres) on the Atlantic island off Morocco’s coast.

A resident carries a mirror from her home as she prepares to evacuate the area on Tuesday [Sergio Perez/Reuters]

“We have been obliged to evacuate a new area. The lava is advancing slowly. People should have time to take their documents, their personal items and anything of value,” said Miguel Angel Morcuende, technical director of the emergency services.

There were 64 seismic movements on Tuesday, the strongest measuring 4.1, the Spanish National Geological Institute said.

Enrique, 50, a Spanish homeowner, said, “We want to pick up documents and other things because our whole life is in that house and we cannot collect over 30 years in five minutes.”

On Monday, about 3,000 people were ordered to stay indoors after lava destroyed a cement-making facility and raised fears that toxic gases might be released.

Despite the significant damage caused by the eruption on La Palma, home to 85,000 people, nobody has been killed or injured.

After the volcano’s cone partially collapsed on Saturday, a new river of lava streamed towards the sea, devouring banana and avocado plantations and most of the remaining houses in the town of Todoque.

It is the island’s third volcanic eruption in a century, the last one taking place in 1971.

Source: News Agencies