Lava around 1,000 degrees from the volcano that erupted on the Spanish Canary island of La Palma just over a week ago poured into the sea Wednesday night. "The lava has reached the sea," tweeted the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, publishing stunning photos taken by one of its ships. In them, the orange glowing mass can be seen pouring waterfall-like over cliffs into the black Atlantic Ocean, billowing smoke and steam.
It was feared that toxic gases containing hydrochloric acid could form when the lava came into contact with the salty seawater. Therefore, a curfew had already been maintained for four districts with a total of about 300 residents.
The Canary Islands Safety Authority tweeted, "If you are outside, find a safe place to seek refuge." According to sea rescue, the lava has been flowing into the sea since midnight. It is blowing a southerly wind. The Institute of Oceanography further tweeted that the advance of the lava could be seen all the way to the base of the cliff. This also shows a video published on the Internet.
The volcanic island had been declared a disaster area on Tuesday. So far, nearly 600 buildings have been destroyed by the blazing hot mass. The number of people who had to leave their homes decreased slightly to 5600 after some residents were allowed to return. According to regional government estimates, the damage amounts to several hundred million euros.
The volcano in the Cumbre Vieja mountain range in the south of the island off the west coast of Africa had erupted on September 19 for the first time in 50 years. How long it would remain active, volcanologists could not say. It could take weeks or even months.