Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, Oct 19 (EFE).- The Cumbre Vieja volcano has been spewing lava and ash for a month and the rivers of red-hot magma flooding the Spanish island of La Palma have flattened nearly 2,000 buildings and engulfed 763 hectares of land, an area greater than 1,000 soccer fields, the Spanish Department of National Security (DSN) reported Tuesday.
The rumbling volcano shows no signs of abating and dense lava flows that appeared after the partial collapse of the northern flank of the cone are heading west and northwest within the exclusion zone, the DSN added.
The river of sizzling magma that has experts on alert is moving southwest of La Laguna mountain and is around 160 meters from the coast. It is traveling at around 2 meters an hour, although its rhythm has slowed recently.
Once this lava stream flows into the Atlantic Ocean, toxic steam and dramatic explosions could force further measures to protect the population.
La Palma airport remains operational on Tuesday although there are delays due to a 4.2-kilometer ash cloud towering over the area.
The Special Plan for Civil Protection and Emergency Care due to Volcanic Risk (PEVOLCA) has advised the population of El Paso to remain indoors to avoid worsening air quality and a haze that is being pushed inland.
Seismic activity has decreased with 14 earthquakes recorded on Tuesday morning by the National Geographic Institute (IGN).EFE