Volcano erupts on Spain's Atlantic Ocean island of La Palma
A volcano on Spain's Atlantic Ocean island of La Palma erupted on Sunday after a weeklong buildup of seismic activity, prompting authorities to speed up evacuations for 1,000 people as lava flows crept toward isolated mountain homes. The Canary Islands Volcanology Institute reported the eruption near the southern end of the island, which saw its last eruption in 1971.
Huge red plumes shot out along Cumbre Vieja volcanic ridge
Huge red plumes with black-and-white smoke shot out along the Cumbre Vieja volcanic ridge, which scientists had been closely watching following the accumulation of molten lava below the surface and days of small earthquakes. La Palma, with a population of 85,000, is one of eight islands in the Canary Islands archipelago off Africa's western coast. At their nearest point, they're 100 kilometers from Morocco.
A 4.2-magnitude quake was recorded before the volcanic eruption
A 4.2-magnitude quake was recorded before the volcanic eruption, which took place in Cabeza de Vaca on the western slope as the ridge descends to the coast. Tinges of red could be seen at the bottom of the black jets that shot rocks into the air. One black lava flow with a burning tip was sliding toward houses in the village of El Paso.
No immediate reports of deaths or injuries: La Palma's President
Mayor Sergio Rodrguez said 300 people in immediate danger had been evacuated. Roads were closed due to the explosion and authorities urged the curious not to approach the area. Mariano Hernandez, president of La Palma island, said there were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries but that the lava flows made him concerned about the populated areas on the coast.
Too early to tell how long eruption would last: Official
People should not come near the eruption site where the lava is flowing, Hernandez said. Itahiza Dominguez, head of seismology of Spain's National Geology Institute, told Canary Islands Television that although it was too early to tell how long this eruption would last, prior eruptions on the Canary Islands lasted weeks or even months.