Nine days after the eruption, the lava from the volcano La Palma reached …


(Add lava reaching the sea)

By Miguel Pereira and Marco Trujillo

LA PALMA, Spain, September 28 (Reuters) – Scorching lava from a volcano that devastated the Spanish island of La Palma reached the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday evening, nine days after it began rolling down the mountains, destroying buildings and destroying crops.

Reuters images showed clouds of white vapor rising from the Playa Nueva area. Authorities had warned of possible explosions and clouds of toxic gases -houses-2021-09 -20 when the lava reaches the sea.

“When the lava reaches the sea, containment must be strictly observed,” Miguel Angel Morcuende, director of the Pevolca intervention committee, said earlier Tuesday.

Lava has been flowing from the volcano’s western flank towards the sea since September 19, destroying nearly 600 houses and banana plantations in La Palma, neighboring Tenerife in the Canary Islands archipelago off the North African coast.

Thousands of people were evacuated and three coastal villages were locked down on Monday in anticipation of meeting lava in the Atlantic Ocean.

Spain classified La Palma as a disaster area on Tuesday, a move that will trigger financial support for the island.

The government announced a first 10.5 million euros ($ 12.3 million) package, which includes around 5 million euros to buy houses, the rest to acquire essential furniture and household items, has said government spokeswoman Isabel Rodriguez.

A resident who was evacuated last week from the village of Tacande de Arriba was delighted to find his house still standing and his pet cats unharmed.

“It’s a good feeling, a fantastic feeling,” said Gert Waegerle, 75, who fled the advancing lava with his five turtles on Friday but had to leave the cats behind.

“I’m super happy because in the end everything went well.”

($ 1 = 0.85 euros) (Reporting by Miguel Pereira, Marco Trujillo and Jon Nazca in La Palma and Emma Pinedo and Inti Landauro in Madrid; Writing by Nathan Allen; Editing by Andrei Khalip, Angus MacSwan and Karishma Singh)

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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