Photos: Lava from the erupting Spanish volcano reaches the sea

The lava hit the sea
A spectacular clash
Homes wiped out
Then, the lava reached the sea
A 100-metre drop
A dangerous moment
Concerns about the steam
No people in a 3.5 km radius
Explosion risk
Navigation prohibited
A high wall of lava fell into the sea
A powerful river of lava
Eruption gains strength
Preventive evacuation
Volcanic glass
Impact on organisms in the sea
Recovery of marine fauna
The eruption began 10 days ago
Urgent evacuation
Take only what you can carry
Destroyed by lava
A wall of volcanic mass
It's raining ash
Concerns about the future
Shelter in a sports centre
Government aid
Reconstruction and tax benefits
The lava hit the sea

For 10 days, the lava from the Cumbre Vieja volcano has been traveling over the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands archipelago.

A spectacular clash

At 400 metres per hour, it slowly moved towards the sea. Now, the lava has arrived, making contact with the water in a spectacular clash.

Homes wiped out

Since the eruption of the volcano, thousands of people have seen their homes and livelihoods disappear from the map.

Then, the lava reached the sea

The arrival of lava in the Atlantic Ocean was awaited with tension by volcanologists. It happened in the middle of the night on the 29th of September. Throughout the following morning, scientists, local authorities and media have followed the effect of the lava on the sea.

A 100-metre drop

The long-awaited clash ended up happening in an area of cliffs on the coast of Tazacorte, at a height of about 100 metres.

A dangerous moment

Slowly and continuously, the lava fell into the sea. The thermal shock of the different temperatures produced a cloud of water vapor.

Concerns about the steam

Authorities in La Palma warned citizens about these clouds of vapor, as they can be harmful to the eyes, lungs and skin.

No people in a 3.5 km radius

They recommend that residents stay more than 3.5 km away from the cliff area of Tazacorte, to avoid direct contact with the steam.

Explosion risk

Furthermore, once a lava river comes into contact with the ocean, there is a risk of explosions.

Navigation prohibited

Authorities banned navigation in a wide area. The effect of lava at sea is not yet clear and could pose a danger to boats.

A high wall of lava fell into the sea

According to the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, the lava formed a pyramid 50 metres high before it fell into the sea.

A powerful river of lava

All this happened less than an hour, which leads to the conclusion that the stream will continue to increase in the coming days.

Eruption gains strength

After stopping for a few hours on Monday, the volcano returned to the expulsion of lava with much force. According to the National Geographic Institute, it may be feeding off a deeper lava pool.

Preventive evacuation

The area of Tazacorte had already been evacuated before the lava hit the water, as there were many journalists waiting for the remarkable natural phenomenon to take place.

Volcanic glass

The steam columns formed by the clash of lava of more than 1,000ºC with water of 20ºC are loaded with hydrochloric acid and tiny particles of volcanic glass.

Impact on organisms in the sea

Several agencies are studying the impact that lava in the sea can have on marine fauna. As Eugenio Fraile, a researcher at the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, explained to the newspaper El País, "the most affected will be organisms that live trapped in the seabed. They will probably die."

Recovery of marine fauna

Experts do say, however, that marine fauna will recover relatively quickly from the clash. They point at the situation around the island of El Hierro, also in the Canary Islands. After the eruption of its volcano, it took only three years for the marine fauna to reappear.

The eruption began 10 days ago

The eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, which started on Sunday September 19, has changed the lives of thousands of residents on the Spanish island of La Palma.

Urgent evacuation

The locals and tourists closest to the volcano had to evacuate within hours.

Take only what you can carry

They had to leave most of their belongings behind.

Destroyed by lava

The houses that stood in the direct route of the lava streams were pushed over by walls of volcanic mass that could be as high as 9 metres.

A wall of volcanic mass

As the streams advanced, the height of the lava wall increased. By the time it reached the shore, it was about 50 metres high, according to experts.

It's raining ash

Others have been covered by the ash that the volcano continues to release, along with the lava.

Concerns about the future

Across the island, citizens are worried about their livelihoods. La Palma makes money through the cultivation of bananas (some plantations standing directly in the way of the lava stream) and tourism.

Shelter in a sports centre

Those who had to leave their homes, were received in sports halls or other communal buildings outside the reach of the volcano.

Government aid

The national government has declared La Palma a catastrophic zone, allowing it to allocate 10.5 million euros for the purchase of houses and essential goods to the residents affected.

Reconstruction and tax benefits

The Special Plan of La Palma, approved by the Council of Ministers, includes aid for the reconstruction and rental of houses, farms and livestock, aquaculture facilities, promotion of tourism and tax benefits for those affected.

Más para ti