Evacuations hit 6,000 as lava gushes from Canary Islands volcano
Lava gushing from the Canary Islands' first volcanic eruption on land in 50 years has forced authorities to evacuate another part of El Paso municipality on the island of La Palma and to urge sightseers attracted by the phenomenon to stay away, France 24 reports.
People from the neighbourhood of Tacande Alto were evacuated late Monday and early Tuesday after a new stream of lava started flowing from another crack on the slope of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, El Paso's mayor Sergio Rodriguez told state broadcaster TVE.
"The lava on its path to the sea has been a bit capricious and has diverted from its course," Rodriguez said.
About 6,000 of the 80,000 people living on the island have been forced to leave their homes to escape the eruption so far, TVE said.
The volcano started erupting on Sunday after La Palma, the most northwestern island in the Canaries archipelago, was rocked by thousands of quakes in the preceding days. It has shot lava hundreds of metres into the air, engulfed forests and sent molten rock towards the ocean over a sparsely populated area of La Palma.
No fatalities or injuries have been reported, but drone footage captured two tongues of black lava cutting a devastating swathe through the landscape as they advanced down the volcano's western flank towards the sea.
Experts say that if and when the lava reaches the sea, it could trigger more explosions and clouds of toxic gases.
The last eruption in the Canaries archipelago was underwater and dates to 2011.