LOS LLANOS DE ARIDANE, Canary Islands, Spain (AP) – Hundreds of residents on the Spanish island of La Palma woke up Wednesday in fear for their homes and properties after a new river of lava from an erupting volcano threatened to engulf another. neighborhood on its possible route to the Atlantic Ocean.
The island authorities on Tuesday ordered the evacuation of some 800 people from a part of the coastal town of Los Llanos de Aridane after the wash took a new course that left their homes in the spotlight.
Around 6,000 people had been evicted from the area in the hours before the eruption began on September 19, when their houses and fields were directly in the path of the first lava that emanated from the volcano.
Since then no new evacuations have been decreed. But on Tuesday, volcanologists advising authorities found a new river of lava north of the main stream after a split, heading into an inhabited area outside of what was the evacuation zone.
“A part of the neighborhood was already evacuated, but now, as the laundry has evolved, it has been considered necessary to evacuate this specific area,” said the mayor of Los Llanos de Aridane, María García, on state television TVE.
Residents in the La Laguna neighborhood had a few hours to collect their most valuable belongings and leave. Volunteers helped staff at a nearby school save educational materials, while others filled cars and trucks with furniture.
The president of the government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, will travel to the island on Wednesday. It is his fourth visit to the area since the eruption began.
La Palma is part of the Canary Islands, an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean located in northwestern Africa that lives off the cultivation of bananas and tourism.
So far, the lava has destroyed more than 1,400 buildings, including homes, farms and other structures, and covered 656 hectares (1,621 acres), of which 90 (more than 200 acres) were dedicated to the cultivation of bananas. No personal injury has been recorded.