Outbreak in the Canaries | Lava reaches the ocean, a potentially dangerous phenomenon

(Madrid) Lava from the volcano, which erupted ten days ago on the island of La Palma in the Spanish Canary Islands, entered the sea overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday, a potentially dangerous phenomenon, said the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcan) .

Posted on Sep 28, 2021 at 7:41 pm

“The lava flow reached the sea at Playa Nueva,” said Involcan shortly after midnight (Tuesday 22:00 GMT) on his Twitter account.

On September 19, the Cumbre Vieja volcano erupted.

On Tuesday afternoon, the lava, which had fluctuated in speed over the past few days and had even settled once, was still about half a mile from the sea, making it impossible to predict when it would reach the sea.

This encounter between molten lava and water was particularly feared because it could produce toxic gases and noxious particles that could make them potentially dangerous.

For this reason, the regional government of the archipelago had ordered an “exclusion radius of two nautical miles” around the place where the lava was expected.

On Monday, residents of several parts of the city in Tazacorte, a village near the coast, were ordered to lock themselves up because they feared toxic gases could be released from the arrival of lava in the sea.

This decision was made because “there is a possibility that there will be a small shock when the magma enters the sea water and that this small shock causes vapors that can be toxic,” emphasized the technical director of the Canary Islands volcano emergency plan (Pevolca), Miguel Ángel Morcuende.

The penetration of the lava eruption into the sea came hours after the government released 10.5 million euros ($ 15.55 million) on Tuesday as direct aid to victims of the volcanic eruption, specifically to buy apartments for people who had their homes in Lava enveloped.

On this island with 85,000 inhabitants, a state of natural disaster was declared, on which lava flows destroyed a total of 589 buildings – not all residential houses – and covered 258 hectares of land, according to the European system of measures Copernicus Geospatial.

The island of La Palma lives mainly from banana cultivation and tourism.

The outbreak did not leave any deaths or injuries, but resulted in the evacuation of more than 6,000 people who were forced to leave their homes.

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