Because of the approaching lava, the authorities on the volcanic island of La Palma have ordered the evacuation of around 300 people. This increased the number of people who had to get to safety from the consequences of the volcanic eruption to more than 7,000, as the state TV broadcaster RTVE reported today. At the same time, around 100 more light to medium earthquakes were registered. One had a strength of 4.5 and was thus the most violent since the eruption of the volcano on September 19.
Since the northern flank of the volcanic cone collapsed on Saturday, the lava flow through inhabited areas towards the sea has increased. The emerging lava was also around 1,200 degrees hotter than before and therefore thinner and a little faster. According to the analysis of the data from the European Earth observation system Copernicus, 1,548 buildings have so far been destroyed by the lava and an area of 680 hectares has been covered by lava and ash. That corresponds to about 950 soccer fields. Nobody has been harmed so far.
According to the operator Aena, the island’s airport was still operational, but was only served by a few airlines such as Binter. Air traffic to the other major tourist islands in the Canary Islands – Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote – ran normally.