Sunday, November 28, 2021

Canary Islands volcanic eruption continues for sixth day

Authorities in the Spanish Canary Islands of La Palma say the Cumbre Vieja volcano continued to erupt on Friday, spewing lava and ash, and threatening the homes and livelihoods of the island’s 85,000 residents.

Images and drone videos of a single house, which was surrounded but survived by moving lava, have made it a symbol of the natural disaster that began on Sunday.

The Associated Press, citing a European Union monitoring agency, reports that nearly 400 buildings have been destroyed by lava flows, including homes, businesses and banana plantations.

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The manager of the island’s banana growers’ union, Sergio Casares, told Reuters news service that about 15% of La Palma’s 140 million kilograms of annual banana crop could be at risk if farmers are unable to access the plantations.

Farmer Antonio Brito lvarez, 65, removes ashes from a banana leaf at his farm, which has been affected by ash from a volcanic eruption at Cumbre Vieja Park in Los Llanos de Ariadne on the Canary Islands of La Palma, Spain. 23 September 2021.

There was a huge lava river 600 meters wide, which was moving rapidly across the island. Officials say it changed after reaching a ground on Wednesday, but the lava continues to move at a speed of about four meters per hour. They say that as it slowed down, the lava thickened, rising up to 15 meters high.

Experts originally predicted that lava would hit the Atlantic Ocean earlier this week, but María Jose Blanco, head of the National Geographic Institute in the Canary Islands, said the lava flow would not reach the Atlantic Ocean until the weekend, some scientists said. Says it can never reach this A. Blanco said there is a second lava flow that has stopped completely.

Blanco said seismic activity on La Palma was now “low,” but molten rock is still being ejected from the volcano – 26 million cubic meters so far.

Officials said the island could function for a long period of up to three months after the eruption earlier this week and the aftermath.

Some information for this report was provided by The Associated Press and Reuters.

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