12 October (NWN) — Volcanic eruptions on the Canary Islands are showing no signs of stopping, experts say, after its cone partially collapsed and molten lava erupted over the past weekend.
Since the eruption on September 19, magma has spread over some 1,500 acres of land on the island of La Palma.
Spanish officials said the collapsed cone caused an increase in explosive activity.
“The volcano is not showing signs that it is going to end tomorrow or the next day, nor in a week,” Nieves Sanchez, a researcher at Spain’s Geology and Mining Institute, told El País.
The lava flow has broken into two branches – one moving north toward the Atlantic Ocean and the other reaching the city of Los Llanos de Ariadne on Monday.
Experts say it is possible that lava engulfed the cement plant on Monday and caught fire, releasing toxic gases.
The Canary Islands Volcanoes Institute said more than 1,100 buildings have been destroyed by the eruption so far.
Officials told about 3,500 residents of La Palma on Tuesday that they could leave their homes after the lockdown period following the burning of the cement plant.
The island’s airport remained open Tuesday, but the carrier canceled about a dozen flights. The Spanish National Geological Institute said the volcano produced more than 60 seismic movements on Tuesday.