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Volcano eruption sends Spanish islanders fleeing


Residents remove their belongings from their homes as they evacuate La Palma on Wednesday. Associated Press/Photo by Emilio Morenatti

Volcano eruption sends Spanish islanders fleeing

Lava spilled from the erupting volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma for the fourth day on Wednesday. The Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Canary Islands archipelago erupted for the first time in 50 years on Sunday, destroying hundreds of homes. Prompt evacuations have prevented any casualties. The molten lava is now slowly heading down the coast towards the village of Todoque, before it hits the Atlantic Ocean.

How is the island responding? Authorities have evacuated more than 6,800 people from La Palma and Todoque. The island moved residents who didn’t stay with family members or friends to a hotel and took the vulnerable to a nursing home. The Canary Island Volcanology Institute said the lava has covered about 320 buildings and spanned about 380 acres. Firefighters worked to open a trench to divert the flow. The institute said the eruption and its aftermath could last for up to 84 days, as authorities warned the affected area could still face new lava flows, volcanic ash, acid rains, and more earthquakes.

Dig deeper: Read John Dawson’s report in Beginnings on scientists’ effort to monitor possible eruptions.


Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD’s Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University–Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria.

@onize_ohiks

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