La Palma: Smoke engulfs buildings near the Cumbre Vieja volcano
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While the volcanic eruption occurred nearly a month ago, La Palma is still suffering from the volcano’s impact. Three lava rivers are now gushing from the volcano destroying everything in their path.
The huge earthquake is yet another disaster locals on the island have had to deal with since the eruption.
La Palma residents reported various degrees of shaking, with one saying: “I was lying on bed watching TV and I felt the bed moving.
“It was like someone was walking on the roof, the windows were vibrating and it woke my dog up.”
Scientists say there will be no early end to the volcanic activity “in the short or medium term”.
“The volcano is releasing a plume of gases 3,000 metres high with high amounts of sulfur dioxide, 17,774 tons per day, and that measure would have to drop to 100 to think that the eruption is coming to an end, ” said spokeswoman for the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan), María José Blanco.
The earthquake was felt in several populated areas of La Palma while the volcano continues to be closely monitored.
As three tongues of red-hot lava flow from the volcano, one is moving at speeds of 50 metres per hour.
Last night, the evacuation of the area of Los Llanos de Aridane was ordered by local authorities.
Nearly 100 houses were destroyed in the last 24 hours as the volcano rages a path of destruction.
Since the eruption began, 1,500 houses have been destroyed while 680 hectares of land have been impacted.
Thousands of people have been evacuated from danger with the latest number being over 6,400.
Among that number, 400 tourists have been transferred to nearby Tenerife to escape the chaos.
Of those evacuated, 280 people are being housed at the Princess Hotel in Fuencaliente, a municipality in La Palma.
Weather experts have predicted that La Palma airport will not be affected for another three days.
A Saharan wind is expected to blow which will direct the ashes from the volcano westwards.
However, dry air could create bad air quality conditions and tourists are advised to follow all directions from local authorities.
Recently, some tourism workers in La Palma appealed for tourists to return to the island for holidays.
Tourism is a major part of the economy in the Canary Islands and the area is extremely popular with British tourists.
Volcano tourists have flocked to La Palma to catch a glimpse of the volcano erupting for the first time in 50 years.
Spain’s Tourism Minister recently caused outrage when she suggested La Palma could promote volcano tourism.
People said it was insensitive to mention tourism at a time when so many local residents had lost their homes to the lava.
Additional reporting by Rita Sobot
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