Thousands of people have been forced to flee after lava erupted from a volcano on Spain’s La Palma island.
Streams of hot molten rock from La Cumbre Vieja volcano swallowed swimming pools and homes in hellish scenery as it ripped through El Paso.
The water of the swimming pool was seen boiling due to the havoc of lava.
According to the Canary Islands Volcano Institute, the invincible force of nature was blowing at 700mph with temperatures exceeding 1,000C on Monday.
At least 150 homes have been destroyed and 6,000 people evacuated after Sunday’s eruption, before a new flood of lava broke out late Monday after the volcano opened a new vent.
It has already destroyed banana plantations, a school and hundreds of homes in El Paso.
Shocking video footage shows a river of orange-topped volcanic rock mercilessly escaping from homes and locks as it makes its way toward the Atlantic Ocean.
Experts fear that when it reaches the ocean, it will cause explosions and clouds of toxic gases – causing further damage to local people’s health and homes.
Acidic smog can significantly reduce visibility at sea, forcing the closure of a shipping area to the west of the island.
Angel Victor Torres, the head of the Canary Islands government, told SER radio: “There will be considerable material damage,” he said. “We hope there will be no personal injuries.”
So far, no casualties or injuries have been reported as magma spread through the sparsely populated area of La Palma.
The island’s president urged people to stay away from the “dark” area, explaining that the lava wall “is consuming homes, infrastructure”. [and] Crops on the way to the coast”.
Spanish Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto has come under fire after encouraging tourists to enjoy the “amazing show” – as thousands of residents lost their homes and property.
“There are no restrictions on visiting the island,” she told Spanish radio.
“On the contrary, we are providing information so that tourists know that they can visit the island and enjoy something unusual, see it for themselves.”
Volcanologists fear the eruption could continue for weeks to come, while it is estimated that 10,000 people could be evacuated in the coming days.
Locals have been asked not to enter the ‘danger zone’ yet, to keep windows and doors shut and to turn off water, gas and electricity sources.
People are also encouraged to keep their phone and battery-operated radio on at all times and those who have animals should follow evacuation guidelines.
Canary Islands regional president Angel Victor Torres said Monday morning that four villages are the main source of concern – including El Paso and Los Llanos de Ariadne.
About 500 tourists were rescued from a hotel in the coastal resort of Puerto Naos and offered emergency accommodation in an old barracks in Santa Cruz.
The British government has issued a warning to vacationers planning to travel to and from luxury holiday destinations last week after a volcano erupted and showed signs of activity.
Advice for Brits
The UK government said last night: “On Sunday 19 September 2021, at approximately 15.15 pm local time, there was a volcanic eruption on the Spanish Canary island of La Palma.
“The immediate area of Cabeza de Veca, El Paso, has been evacuated.” If you are in an affected area you should follow the advice of local authorities, including social media updates from Caballdo de la Palma.
“You are encouraged to contact your tour operators and airlines if you plan to visit the island soon.”
The eruption came after a week of seismic activity, in which nearly a thousand people have been evacuated from their homes.
The Minister of Science and Innovation, Diana Morant, said: “There is still no scientific answer on how long the eruption of La Palma will last”.
However, after analyzing the lava and gases, she said: “we speak of a period of between one and three weeks”.
An earthquake of magnitude 3.8 was recorded prior to the eruption as vibrations from the seismic activity were felt on the surface.
Roads were closed due to the blast and officials urged curious people not to venture into the area.
La Palma has a population of 85,000 and is one of eight islands in the Canary Islands of Spain.
Last week Spain’s National Geographic Institute said it had detected 4,222 aftershocks around the island of La Palma, which scientists are calling a swarm of earthquakes since last Saturday.
An earthquake swarm is a group of earthquakes in an area over a short period of time and may indicate an impending eruption.
Nearly 1,000 earthquakes have struck the islands since last Saturday.
On Tuesday, the regional government of the Canary Islands placed the island on a yellow alert for the eruption.
The last eruption on the Canary Islands took place under water off the coast of El Hierro Island in 2011 and lasted for five months.