La Palma Eruption
An eruption took place at 3:15 this afternnon on La Palma after a week-long buildup of seismic activity.
Local authorities have speeded up evacuations for 1,000 people in the vicinity as lava flows have begun to creep toward isolated homes on the mountainside.
Scientists had been closely following local developments since the accumulation of molten lava below the surface and days of small earthquakes.
The explosion took place in an area known as Cabeza de Vaca, on the western slope of the volcanic ridge as it descends to the coast.
witnesses reported seeing red lava at the bottom of the black jets that shot rocks into the air.
One black lava flow with a burning tip was sliding toward some houses in the village of El Paso. Mayor Sergio Rodríguez said 300 people in immediate danger had been evacuated and sent to the El Paso football field. Roads have been closed due to the explosion and authorities urged the curious not to approach the area.
People with reduced mobility had begun to be moved off the island earlier on Sunday.
A 3.8-magnitude quake had been
The Spanish Volcano Risk Action Plan's scientific committee said that stronger earthquakes were “likely to be felt and may cause damage to buildings”.
The committee also pointed out some isolated locations at risk from landslides.
Some of those evacuated have been taken in at a military outpost on the island. La Palma had been on alert for the past week, after geologists reported an accumulation of molten rock under Cumbre Vieja, a dormant volcanic ridge near the island’s southern tip. Its last eruption was in 1971..