Disasters & Accidents

Clouds of volcanic ash, sulfur force closure of schools in Spain’s La Palma

Santa Cruz de La Palma, Spain, Nov 2 (EFE).- Clouds of ash are intensifying in the west and north-west regions of the Spanish island of La Palma as the volcano continues to increase its lava output, experts warned Tuesday.

The high volume of ash registered in the last 24 hours has forced the closure of schools in Los Llanos de Aridane, Tazacorte, Tijarafa and Puntagorda, where children will be working remotely, the government of the Canary Islands said.

Spain’s Department of Homeland Security (DSN) reported Tuesday that the lava output from the Cumbre Vieja volcano had increased and that the most southern stream of lava was growing steadily.

The large volume of magma flowing from the southern section of the cone has forged a new lava river which is moving some 200 meters from the road that leads to Puerto Naos, according to the DSN.

It is a busy road used every day to transport desalinators and heavy machinery to deal with the effects of the volcanic eruption.

The volcano’s cone is in a constant state of flux due to the recurrent eruptions and explosions which have been underway since September 19.

The shape of the island is also changing on a daily basis as the deltas of molten rock continue to grow into the ocean.

So far 2,176 buildings have been wrecked and some 967,85 hectares of land have been affected by the eruption, which is the equivalent of 1,354 soccer fields, the DSN added.

Air quality was within normal limits on Monday with only the municipality of Los Llanos de Aridane recording dangerous toxic steam, the DSN said.

Changing winds on Tuesday are expected to push the sulfuric clouds east towards the rest of the Canary Islands, which will affect visibility and operations at La Palma airport.

The National Geographic Institute (IGN) said over 40 earthquakes shook the municipalities of Fuencaliente and Villa de Mazo in the early hours of Tuesday morning. EFE


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