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Thousands flee Canaries volcano as lava streams destroy homes

Lava flowing from the Canary Islands' first volcanic eruption in 50 years has forced the evacuation of 5,500 people and destroyed at least 100 houses, authorities said.

9/20/2021 7:35:00 PM

Lava flowing from the Canary Islands' first volcanic eruption in 50 years has forced the evacuation of 5,500 people, destroyed at least 100 houses, and was expected to trigger toxic gases when it reaches the sea in the evening

Lava flowing from the Canary Islands' first volcanic eruption in 50 years has forced the evacuation of 5,500 people and destroyed at least 100 houses, authorities said.

The volcano erupted on Sunday, shooting lava hundreds of metres into the air, engulfing forests and sending molten rock towards the Atlantic Ocean over a sparsely populated area of La Palma, the northwesternmost island in the Canaries archipelago.No fatalities or injuries have been reported but drone footage captured two tongues of black lava cutting a devastating swathe through the landscape as they advanced down the volcano's western flank towards the sea.

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A Reuters witness saw the flow of molten rock slowly tear its way through a house in the village of Los Campitos, igniting the interior and sending flames through the windows onto the roof.Authorities have not given an updated tally of how many properties have been destroyed since the head of La Palma's local government gave an estimate of 100 early on Monday.

Regional leader Angel Victor Torres said the damage would be substantial."It was horrible," said Eva, a 53-year old tourist from Austria. "We felt the earthquake, it started in the morning ... Then at 3 in the afternoon the lady from our house came and said you have to pack everything and leave quickly."

"We're happy to go home now," she said at the airport, boarding a flight back home after cutting her trip short.Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said the eruption was "a wonderful show" which would attract more tourists - comments that were criticised by the opposition at a time when many residents have lost their homes.

Some of the tourists at the airport disagreed with Maroto. "We want to leave as fast as possible," said Wienard, a 55-year- old social worker from Salzburg.1/4A house burns due to lava from the eruption of a volcano in the Cumbre Vieja national park at Los Llanos de Aridane, on the Canary Island of La Palma, September 20, 2021. REUTERS/Borja Suarez

Read MoreBut at least one visitor was happy."I felt like a little child inside, very excited," said Kabirly, 26, a market researcher from Belgium. "It was also my birthday yesterday so it was sort of a candle on the island cake!"About 360 tourists were evacuated from a resort in La Palma following the eruption and taken to the nearby island of Tenerife by boat early on Monday, a spokesperson for ferry operator Fred Olsen said. A total of more than 500 tourists had to leave their hotels.

REACHING THE SEAOfficials said they were hopeful they would not need to evacuate any more people but warned of the need to treat the volcano with caution."It is still active and will continue to be active for the next few days," regional leader Torres said. The lava flow was likely to reach the coast at about 8 p.m. local time (1900 GMT).

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Officials warned of possible explosions and clouds of toxic gases when the lava reaches the sea.Anticipating reduced visibility, maritime authorities on Monday closed down shipping to the west of the island.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.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez arrived in La Palma on Sunday and said citizens would receive support.Emergency services said it was unclear what path the lava would take to the ocean. Authorities had evacuated people with mobility issues from several coastal towns, including the Puerto Naos resort.

Airspace around the Canaries remained open with no visibility problems, the Enaire civil air authority said after a local airline cancelled four flights between islands.Reporting by Borja Suarez and Marco Trujillo in La Palma and Inti Landauro, Emma Pinedo, Corina Pons, Nathan Allen in Madrid; Writing by Ingrid Melander and Nathan Allen; Editing by Angus MacSwan, Janet Lawrence and Giles Elgood

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Volunteers from three organizations have moved the massive reptile back into the ocean and will continue to monitor its progress.

gpalmen To be honest, I used to live in the canaries working in the tourist trade in a Scandinavian tourist area…. Personally, I had a few eruptions there myself

Lava pours out of volcano on La Palma in Spain's Canary IslandsCanary Islands President Angel Victor Torres told a press conference on Sunday night that 5,000 people had been evacuated and no injuries had been reported so far. Flights to and from the Canaries were continuing as normal, the airport operator Aena said. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez arrived in La Palma, the most northwesterly island of the archipelago, late on Sunday for talks with the islands' government on managing the eruption. Yahoo How beautiful and devastating at the same time.

Lava pours out of volcano on La Palma in Spain's Canary IslandsA volcano erupted on the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma on Sunday, sending lava shooting into the air and streaming in rivers towards houses in two villages from the Cumbre Vieja national park in the south of the island. Am speechless seeing myself having my first payouts after been scammed countless times, God bless you and your team Hendrickspat7 inka5_inna Calamba!

Volcano Erupts On La Palma In Spain's Canary IslandsA volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma erupted, prompting authorities to speed up evacuations for some 1,000 people. Never visit these 10 Countries 😱🧐 Oh dear! Don't report it and it will go away.pausemsm

Volcano erupts on La Palma in Spain's Canary IslandsThere had been more than 22,000 tremors this week in the Cumbre Vieja area, a chain of volcanoes that last had a major eruption in 1971 and is one of the most active volcanic regions in the Canaries.

Lava destroys dozens of Canary Island homes as volcano eruptsMariano Hernandez Zapata, head of La Palma’s government, describes the area impacted as “desolate”, saying the lava was “on average about six metres high”.

Spanish Canary Island volcano erupts after weeks of earthquakes40 people were evacuated from near the volcano on La Palma Island before the eruption Here is a post which someone posted with a live news video on Twitter.