At least 100 homes were destroyed during a volcanic eruption on Spain’s La Palma island on Monday (September 20), with 5,500 people forced to evacuate.
Thick smoke and flames engulfed buildings in the path of the lava flow as it made its way down the volcano’s slopes towards the sea, although no fatalities or injuries have been reported
The Canaries Volcanology Institute said that when the lava reaches the sea, it could create a cloud of toxic gases as the molten rock cools rapidly. A spokesperson for Spain’s military emergency unit told state television TVE the lava could cause explosions when it comes in contact with the sea.
La Palma had been on high alert after thousands of tremors were reported over a week in Cumbre Vieja, which belongs to a chain of volcanoes that last had a major eruption in 1971 and is one of the Canaries’ most active volcanic regions.