LA PALMA, Spain – Red-hot lava from the volcano that devastated the Spanish island of La Palma reached the Atlantic Ocean late Tuesday when it began flowing down a mountain, destroying buildings and destroying crops.
Large clouds of white steam erupted from the Playa Nueva region as lava came into contact with the sea, according to images from Reuters. Images shared on social media show lava accumulating near a rock.
Officials said lava flowing into the ocean could trigger an explosion and clouds of toxic gases and the Canary Islands emergency service urged people outside to immediately find a safe place to shelter. No injuries have been reported.
“When lava reaches the sea, the lockdown must be strictly followed,” Miguel ngel Morcuende, director of the Pevolca response committee, said earlier on Tuesday.
Lava has been flowing out to sea from the west side of the Cambre Vieja volcano since September 19, destroying nearly 600 homes and banana plantations in La Palma, which neighbors Tenerife in the Canary Islands on the North African coast.
Thousands of people were evacuated on Monday and three coastal villages were cordoned off in hopes of lava hitting the Atlantic Ocean.
Spain classified La Palma as a disaster zone on Tuesday, a move that would speed up financial aid for the island.
Government spokeswoman Isabel Rodriguez said the government announced the first package of 10.5 million euros ($12.3 million), which includes about 5 million euros to buy the house, with the rest securing furniture and essential household items.
A resident who was evicted from Tacande de Ariba village last week was happy to see his home still standing and his pet cats spotless.
“It’s a good feeling, a great feeling,” said 75-year-old Gert Wegerle, who on Friday fled the lava while moving with his five turtles, but had to leave the cats behind.
“I’m so happy because everything turned out well in the end.”
($1 = 0.85 Euro)
by Miguel Pereira and Marco Trujillo
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times