| 28 October 2021, Thursday |

Volcanic lava in Spain’s La Palma engulfs more houses

Buildings near the volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma were enveloped by rivers of lava early Saturday, with flashes of lightning adding to the drama of the red-hot eruption.

According to Reuters witnesses, the magma destroyed at least four structures in the community of Callejon de la Gata.

“New flows in the early morning have resulted in more property devastation. In the face of so much devastation, I feel helpless and in anguish “Anselmo Pestana, the Spanish government’s representative in the Canary Islands, took to Twitter to express his displeasure.

There was also a series of 37 seismic movements on Saturday, with the largest measuring 4.1, the Spanish National Geological Institute said.

However, La Palma’s airport reopened on Saturday after being closed since Thursday because of ash, Spanish air traffic operator Aena said. All other Canary Islands airports are open.

Since the Cumbre Vieja volcano began erupting on Sept. 19 it has destroyed nearly 1,150 buildings and engulfed 480 hectares (1,190 acres) of land, the European Commission Copernicus Emergency Management Service tweeted on Saturday.

About 6,000 people have been evacuated from their homes on La Palma, which has about 83,000 inhabitants.

Lightning flashes were seen near the eruption early on Saturday. A study published in 2016 by the journal Geophysical Research Letters found lightning can be produced during volcanic eruptions because the collision of ash particles creates an electrical charge.

Airlines flying to the Canary Islands were advised to load extra fuel in case planes had to change course or delay landing because of ash, said a spokesman for Enaire, which controls the navigation in Spanish airspace.