Hundreds evacuated as red-hot lava threatens homes in Spain’s La Palma

La Palma, Oct. 13 (BNA): More than 700 residents were ordered to leave their homes on Tuesday on the Spanish island of La Palma as hot lava progressed toward their neighbourhood.

When a river of molten magma descends from the Cumbre Vieja volcano in the northeast of the Canary Island, authorities have ordered between 700 and 800 La Laguna residents to leave their homes with their belongings and pets, according to the Canary Islands’ Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pivolca), Reuters reported.

“We want to get documents and other things because our whole life is in that house and we can’t collect more than 30 years in five minutes,” Enrique, 50, a Spanish home owner, told Reuters.

Authorities gave homeowners until 1800 GMT to collect their belongings.

“We have had to clear a new area. The lava is advancing slowly. People should have time to take their documents, personal items and anything of value,” said Miguel Angel Morquindi, Technical Director of Pevolca.

Spain’s National Geological Institute said there were 64 seismic movements on Tuesday, the strongest of which was 4.1.

The airport operator AENA said La Palma airport remained open but 11 flights were canceled on Tuesday and others were postponed.

Earlier on Tuesday, officials lifted closure orders due to a cloud of smoke over two villages due to the eruption, allowing more than 3,000 residents to escape.

Lava erupting from the volcano engulfed a cement factory on Monday, clouding smoke and prompting authorities to instruct people in the area to stay indoors.

Authorities said lava from the eruption that began on September 19 destroyed nearly 600 hectares of land.

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After the volcano’s cone partly collapsed on Saturday, a new river of lava flowed toward the sea, devouring banana and avocado plantations and most of the remaining homes in the town of Todoc.

The Canary Islands Volcanic Institute said that torrents of molten rock destroyed 1,186 buildings in the three weeks following the eruption of the volcano, forcing about 6,700 people to evacuate.

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