Lava from La Palma volcano approaches the Atlantic Ocean, as coastal areas are locked down

By Al Goodman and Hannah Ritchie, CNN

Residents of the east coast of the Spanish island of La Palma were taken into custody on Monday as lava flowing from the Cumbre Vieja volcano nears the sea.

Lava at 1,250 degrees Celsius could hit the Atlantic Ocean in the coming hours, likely causing explosions and sending clouds of toxic gas across the island, the islands’ emergency services warned Monday morning. Canary Islands.

“Given the possibility that lava will reach the sea in the coming hours on the coastal area of ​​Tazacorte, and in anticipation of possible emissions of gases harmful to health, the emergency committee of the Canary Islands volcano orders the lockdown of San Borondon, Marina Alta, Marina Baja and La Condesa, ”they tweeted.

“The population must follow the instructions of the authorities and stay at home, doors and windows closed, until the situation can be assessed in the morning,” they added.

In the early hours of Monday morning, lava passed through the southwestern town of Todoque, which was vented a few days ago and was only 1.6 kilometers (about 1 mile) from the coast. of La Palma, according to emergency services.

Authorities also called on residents within a 5-kilometer radius of the volcano to take additional precautions, due to the possibility of further explosive eruptions that could shatter the glass.

The Canary Islands’ main airline, Binter Canarias, confirmed on Monday that it would continue to suspend flights to and from La Palma airport while monitoring the situation.

All other air traffic at the airport was also canceled on Monday morning, according to Spanish airport operator AENA.

Monday is the ninth consecutive day of eruptions for the volcano, which has so far forced the evacuation of nearly 6,000 people, destroyed hundreds of homes and ravaged the island’s economically crucial banana plantations.

Reuters drone footage showed a swift river of glowing lava flowing down the slopes of the crater, passing near homes, and swathes of land and buildings engulfed by a black mass of slower, older lava.

The lava flow engulfed more than 230 hectares, the European Union’s Copernicus satellite monitoring service said, engulfing hundreds of homes as well as roads, schools and churches, and forcing thousands to evacuate .

No deaths or serious injuries have been reported since the volcano erupted, but around 15% of the island’s banana harvest could be at risk, putting thousands of jobs at risk.

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Reuters additional reports.

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