Lava from erupting volcano destroys homes in Canary Islands


Staff member
Oct 7, 2008

A volcano eruption on La Palma in the Spanish Canary Islands has destroyed houses and forced about 5,000 residents to evacuate.

Lava from the Cumbre Vieja volcano has been pouring downhill since Sunday's eruption, devastating everything in its path.
Local officials said about 100 houses have been destroyed so far.

The Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez flew to La Palma on Sunday to oversee rescue efforts.

Mr Sanchez said authorities are closely monitoring fires that may start from the burning lava. The military and civil guard has been deployed to help.
"The lava left absolutely nothing in its path," local mayor Sergio Rodriguez told Spanish broadcaster TVE, adding that residents would not be returning home for a while.

No casualties have so far been reported. There were mandatory evacuation orders for four villages, including El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane, and temporary shelters were set up.

Further evacuations are unlikely to be necessary, Canary Islands President Angel Victor Torres said on Monday.


The volcano last erupted 50 years ago.

It lies in the south of La Palma island, which is home to around 80,000 people.

The eruption started around 15:00 local time (14:00 GMT) on Sunday and sent lava flowing down the hillside toward villages.
Jonas Perez, a local tour guide, said he could still feel tremors from the eruption.

"But now the most amazing thing, which I've never experienced, is that the noise coming from the volcano, it sounds like... 20 fighter jets taking off and it's extremely loud, it's amazing," he added.