World, Europe

Lava slowly destroys another town on Spanish island of La Palma

Wall of black lava has made its way into downtown La Laguna town

Alyssa McMurtry   | 21.10.2021
Lava slowly destroys another town on Spanish island of La Palma Lava coming from the Cumbre Vieja volcano burns fields around the building in Los Llanos in the Canary island of La Palma in El Paso, Spain on October 05, 2021. ( Marcos Moreno - Anadolu Agency )

OVIEDO, Spain

The school, gas station, supermarket, bank and the homes of hundreds of residents of the town of La Laguna were swallowed on Thursday by lava as the volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma continues to erupt.

As of Thursday afternoon, the unstoppable wall of black lava had made its way into the town’s main square.

Less than one month ago, the same plaza was filled with hope, as the Spanish king and queen met with residents there to show their support.

Now, the lava, which scientists say has reached temperatures higher than 1,000 degrees Celcius (1,832 degrees Fahrenheit), is just meters away from overtaking the town’s church.

The nearby villages of El Paraiso, Todoque and El Pedregal have already been completely wiped out by the volcano.

According to data released by the Copernicus satellite on Thursday, the lava flow has swallowed 866 hectares (2,134 acres) of land and destroyed 2,185 buildings.

More than one-tenth of those buildings were taken out over the last two days.

Although the volcano started erupting 33 days ago, experts say it shows no signs of stopping or slowing down.

On Thursday, seismic activity slightly increased, with more than 100 earthquakes reported in 24 hours.

Overnight, another 500 residents were evacuated from their homes in towns to the north of La Laguna.

A total of around 7,500 of the island’s 85,000 residents have now been forced to leave their homes.

“Until yesterday, I didn’t think that this area was in danger. But the volcano is erratic and anything can happen,” Lisa, one of the evacuated residents who was scrambling to grab her most important belongings from her home, told Spanish broadcaster Antena 3.

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