La Palma volcano: Lava ‘tsunami’ as earthquake intensifies eruption

Experts have described the latest volcanic activity on La Palma as the “tsunami of lava”. Huge rivers of molten rock have flowed out of the …

Experts have described the latest volcanic activity on La Palma as the “tsunami of lava”.

Huge rivers of molten rock have flowed out of the crater in the past few days after a 4.5 magnitude earthquake struck the island on Thursday, increasing currents.

The quake is the strongest since the beginning of the eruption of the volcano Cumbre Vieja – on the island of La Palma in the Spanish Canary Islands – almost a month ago.

“Today one of our crew members was able to film a true lava tsunami. Amazing speed and overflow of the lava channel,” said the Canarian Institute of Volcanology and released the footage listed below.

Lava rolling toward the Atlantic Ocean forced the evacuation of more than 300 people late on Thursday, bringing the number of people forced from their homes since Tuesday to 1,200, according to the La Palma government. About 7,000 people in all have had to flee since the eruption, the government said.

Authorities have reported no casualties from the eruption on the island of some 85,000 people.

Most of the island, where the economy is based mostly on farming and tourism, has been unaffected so far.

Two main rivers of lava were still flowing from the Cumbre Vieja ridge on Friday. The initial one has slowed to a virtual stop, but a second one is spewing a large amount of molten rock and compelling authorities to stay alert for further possible evacuations.

The volcano has coughed up ocean sediment that pre-dates the island’s formation 2 million years ago, Vicente Soler of Spain’s Higher Center for Scientific Research said.

The lava has fully or partially destroyed more than 1,500 buildings, most of them homes, and covered more than 680 hectares, according to an EU satellite monitoring agency.

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