Volcanic ash, smoke and lava have transformed the Canary Islands in just 10 days.
A volcanic eruption on La Palma, one of Spain’s Canary Islands, has wreaked havoc for the local population and tourists since it first began 10 days ago.
The Cambre Vieja volcano has caused the evacuation of 6,000 people from their homes on the island, to which they are yet to return.
Along with vital infrastructure, banana plantations and roads, the volcano has also destroyed more than 800 buildings since it erupted on 19 September.
The volcano’s third opening – which last erupted in 1971 – also opened on Friday about 400 meters from the original eruption site, triggering a new wave of lava that may yet contain the primary stream of lava.
Eight new earthquakes of magnitude 3.5 were also recorded on Friday.
Local resident Carmen Rodriguez told Reuters: “We never thought the volcano was going to reach our home.
“There were a lot of people and difficulties, there was a queue.
“Thankfully we took away the washing machine, fridge and a cooker which I had recently bought.
“All I want is that they give us a place to live, that they give us a house to live in, nothing more.”
Emily Swerts, a Dutch citizen living on the island, said: “It is unimaginable that this will happen, and we are now living worse days than during COVID, which was already a bit unrealistic.”
Lava has rolled toward the ocean over the past 10 days, and it rapidly cooled when it met the coast on Tuesday.
The eruption changed the shape of the island by creating a rocky outcrop, which is more than 500 meters in width.
The dangers are heightened when the toxic gases from the lava mix with the ocean, although local officials say the air remains safe to breathe on the island.
However, the ash emanating from the volcano is blocking sunlight for locals and many villages have been put under lockdown for their safety, as breathing problems and eye irritation are likely.
People have resorted to face masks, eye protection and umbrellas to protect themselves from volcanic ash.
Temporary shelters have been set up around the island for those who have been evacuated.
Smoke continues to erupt from the volcano and sulfur dioxide levels have risen in the area, but there is no danger at the moment.
There have been no reports of any deaths or injuries among the 80,000 population.
The last eruptions have been going on for months.