Volcano on Spanish island continues to erupt

by IANS |

Madrid, Nov 24 (IANS) The eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma is continuing unabated, without showingsigns of easing, scientists have said.

The volcano has been active for 66 days now, spewing lava and ash and generating earthquakes, reports Xinhua news agency.

Spain's National Geographic Institute recorded 46 quakes between 12 midnight and 7.37 a.m. on Tuesday, with the most powerful jolts measuring 4.8 and 4.7 on the Richter scale.

On Monday, 95 quakes were recorded, the highest number since November 17, when over 300 temblors were registered.

Monday also saw a fourth lava flow reach the sea, with the risk of an uncontrolled release of toxic gases that result when the hot lava meets the cooler saltwater of the Atlantic Ocean.

Around 3,000 local residents have been ordered to remain indoors.

Lava now covers approximately 1,060 hectares of land on the island.

Over 2,500 buildings have been destroyed and around 7,000 people have had to be evacuated.

A buildup of ash and dust from the volcano has forced the authorities to close the island's airport.

Flights to and from the island were cancelled over the weekend, and the situation is scheduled to be reassessed soon, the regional Canary Island carrier Binter reported.

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