An volcanic eruption in the Spanish Canary Islands has forced thousands of people to evacuate from their homes on the island of La Palma. The Cumbra Vieja volcano last erupted in 1971 and a massive surge in seismic activity in recent days indicated that another eruption was likely. No deaths or injuries are reported yet but hundreds of homes have been destroyed and evacuations are ongoing.
Volcano erupts on La Palma
The eruption began on September 19 after thousands of seismic tremors were detected in the preceding week.
La Palma was placed on high alert as experts believed that these tremors could be a sign that the volcano was ready to erupt again.
The early warnings have enabled authorities to move quickly to evacuate thousands of residents and hundreds of tourists from the path of the lava flow.
The timely evacuation has prevented any deaths or injuries and authorities have even managed to successfully move hundreds of goats and sheep from the area.
Houses near the volcano have not been so fortunate; officials reported that at least 100 homes have been destroyed by the lava so far.
Because Cumbre Vieja is located in the southern part of La Palma, authorities say that it is unlikely that the rest of the island, home to 80,000 people, will have to be evacuated.
En este vídeo de la @guardiacivil se aprecia la gran labor que el cuerpo lleva realizando desde la jornada de ayer para rescatar y evacuar a los animales que se encuentran en las zonas afectadas por la erupción del #VolcanLaPalma #volcanCumbreVieja #VolcanCabezaDeVaca pic.twitter.com/jd49SyL48u
— RTVC (@RTVCes) September 20, 2021
No major tsunami fears
The Canaries, located to the west of Morocco, are a popular tourist destination, particularly for Europeans.
There have been suggestions that a large enough eruption of the Cumbra Vieja volcano could spark a massive tsunami which might crash into cities on the eastern seaboard of the United States.
These suggestions have been controversial but for now, at least, there is no reason to fear that the latest eruption will cause much damage beyond La Palma itself.