SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 28 October 2021, Thursday |

Lava flow thickens on La Palma after volcanic crater collapses

After the north edge of the crater collapsed the previous night, creating dramatic explosions, a torrent of red-hot lava flowing from the Cumbre Vieja volcano on Spain’s La Palma deepened on Monday, although authorities ruled out additional evacuations.

Despite the increased activity, the lava looked to be following a similar path to past flows and avoiding regions that had previously been spared, according to Angel Victor Torres, regional president of the Canary Islands.

“We had to order a few lockdowns because of the air quality,” he stated in a Monday morning interview with TVE. “But we are not intending to evacuate additional individuals.”

Torres said the volcano had emitted roughly three times the material expelled during the island’s last major eruption in 1971, in a quarter of the time.

He added that his administration planned to buy around 300 houses to accommodate those who lost their homes and said it was too early to tell how great the total damage would be.

“We’re still in the middle of this…if the lava keeps springing up in the same quantities we saw last night, the damage is going to be greater,” Torres said.

Roughly 1,000 buildings have been destroyed since the eruption began on Sept. 19 and 6,000 people have been evacuated, mostly from the towns of El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane, two of the main population centers in the island of 83,000 people.

While visiting the island over the weekend, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez pledged 206 million euros in aid to help rebuild and insisted La Palma was safe for tourism.