La Palma: Area covered by lava grows by 50 per cent in 12 hours

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The amount of land on La Palma covered by lava has grown by 50 per cent in just 12 hours. Some 200 homes have been destroyed.

Lava from the Cumbre Vieja continues to roll towards the sea obliterating nearly 150 hectares of land, some of it prime farmland. Some 200 homes have also been engulfed by the molten rock and 6,000 people have been evacuated to temporary accommodation.

The eruption on the island of La Palma is currently emitting between 7,997 and 10,665 tons of sulphur dioxide (SO2) per day into the atmosphere, according to data from the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands.

On September 21, after the meeting with the Steering Committee of the Special Plan for Civil Protection and Attention to Emergencies due to Volcanic Risk, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez confirmed that the Council of Ministers will take on Friday “the first steps to activate the procedure for the declaration of a Civil Protection emergency zone by the Government of Spain.”

“They are going to be long weeks in which we will have to work together with all the institutions to be able to assess the damage,” Sanchez said.

“I want to make it clear that the management of the crisis will not end when the lava reaches the sea, but when La Palma recovers its normality. That is where the Government of Spain and the rest of the administrations will be,” he added.

Prime Minister Sanchez also called on residents to exercise extreme caution as the volcanic activity continues on La Palma.

“We must avoid proximity to the magma and the volcano and keep the roads as clear as possible. There is still a risk of evacuation and it is important that all emergency services can operate as quickly as possible in the face of this highly unpredictable event,” he said.

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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.


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