A volcano which has been erupting on La Palma for five weeks is now more active than ever, officials have said, after a partial collapse of the crater brought a powerful new river of lava to previously unaffected areas.
The volcano has been erupting for five weeks© Reuters The volcano has been erupting for five weeks
The Canary Islands Volcanology Institute described it as “a giant lava fountain” after it gushed out of the Cumbre Vieja volcano early on Monday.
“We’re in a new phase, which is much more intense,” Pedro Hernandez, a researcher at the institute, told public broadcaster RTVE.
The eruption drove a volcanic ash cloud high over the island off northwest Africa.
Residents watched to see what direction the new lava flow would take, and authorities prepared to move more people from their homes.
Prompt evacuations have so far avoided any casualties from the eruption, though the lava has totally or partially destroyed more than 2,000 buildings, mostly homes, and covered more than 900 hectares (2,200 acres) of mostly farmland.