The moment volcanic lava spilled into the sea

SpainLava from volcanoes on the Canary Islands poured into the sea, raising fears of toxic gases being released into the air and causing explosions.

“Lava flow has spilled into the sea at Playa Nueva,” the Canary Islands Volcanic Institute (Involcan) posted on Twitter on the evening of September 28. Video of the scene shows small explosions and white smoke rising as fiery red lava pours into the water.

Volcanic lava overflows into the sea

The moment lava from a volcanic eruption on La Palma island, Canary Islands, Spain spilled into the sea on September 28. Video: Twitter/Icgeography.

La Cumbre Vieja volcano, located on the southern slopes of La Palma, an island with 85,000 inhabitants, first erupted on September 19, creating rivers of lava slowly toward the sea. The regional government of the Canary Islands has declared a two-nautical-mile no-go zone around where the lava poured into the Atlantic Ocean.

Residents of some areas of Tazacorte, a village near the coast, have also been asked to stay at home to avoid harm from toxic gases that can result from the reaction between molten lava and seawater.

A few hours before pouring into the sea, the lava flow moves slowly, even stopping at times and is about 800 meters from the coast. People are warned to stay at home due to “the possibility of small tremors when lava mixes with seawater, which can produce toxic gases,” said Miguel Angel Morcuende, technical director of the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan. strong.

Experts say lava interacts with seawater to create clouds of toxic gas in the air, causing explosions and molten rock that breaks apart like gunfire.

“Inhalation or exposure to acidic gases and liquids can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract, and may cause breathing difficulties, especially in people with underlying respiratory conditions,” warns Involcan.

A state of disaster has been declared on the island, where molten rock has now burned more than 258 hectares of land and destroyed 589 properties, including homes, according to the European Union’s (EU) Copernicus Earth Observation Program. .

The Spanish government has provided 10.5 million euros ($12.3 million) in aid to affected people, especially to buy houses for those who have lost their homes.

The eruption has forced more than 6,000 people to evacuate and there have been no casualties. The people of La Palma island live mainly by banana farming and tourism.

Huyen Le (Follow AFP, BBC)

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