In the Canaries, a hundred houses destroyed after the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano

Posted today at 4:50 p.m., updated at 5:10 p.m.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano, which erupted on the Spanish island of La Palma, in the Canary archipelago, continued, Monday, September 20 at midday, to spit lava flows that destroyed a hundred houses and continued their descent to the coast.

Five thousand people in total have had to leave their homes since the eruption began on Sunday afternoon. The regional government of the Canaries has made it clear on Twitter that it is not planning any further evacuations at this stage, with the lava flows heading ” towards the sea “.

A member of civil protection and a forest firefighter watch a house burn due to lava from a volcano eruption in Cumbre Vieja National Park on September 20, 2021.

The eruption, the first on the island of La Palma for fifty years, has not claimed any victims but has already caused significant damage. Lorena Hernandez Labrador, city councilor in Los Llanos de Aridane, one of the villages affected by the lava flows, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that a “Hundred houses” had been “Destroyed in the municipalities of Los Llanos, El Paso and Tazacorte”.

A house destroyed after the eruption of the volcano, in the residential area of ​​Los Campitos in Los Llanos de Aridane, on the island of La Palma, on September 20, 2021
Videos circulating on social media show impressive lava flows burning trees, completely covering roads and rushing into houses through windows left open.

Asked about public television (TVE), the president of the local authority of the island of La Palma, Mariano Hernandez Zapata, spoke of a landscape of desolation, left by “Lava tongues” tall “About six meters” and “Which swallow up everything in their path”.

Mount Cumbre Vieja, spewing columns of smoke, ash and lava on September 19, 2021.

Angie Chaux, 27, who lives a few kilometers from the volcano in Los Llanos de Aridane, told AFP that she had had “Three minutes” to evacuate her home at 4.30 a.m. with her husband and 3-year-old child.

According to the Canary Islands Volcanological Institute, these flows - which followed lava jets several tens of meters high - are advancing at an average speed of 700 meters per hour at nearly 1,000 ° C.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano had been under close surveillance for a week due to a huge surge in seismic activity. According to the president of the Canary Islands region, Angel Victor Torres, it would contain between 17 and 20 million cubic meters of magma. For this reason, the rash “Will continue”, even if “According to the technical committee, everything seems to indicate that there will be no new eruption points”, detailed the chosen one in a video posted on Twitter.

Location of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, in the Canary Islands archipelago.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who was due to go to New York for the United Nations General Assembly, decided to visit the island immediately, where he arrived on Sunday evening to follow the development of the situation and the operations.

According to the scientific coordinator of the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands, Nemesio Perez, the activity of the Cumbre Vieja volcano could last “Several weeks, even a few months” due to the presence of a second pocket of magma located 20 or 30 kilometers deep.

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