IN PICS: Houses destroyed and villages evacuated after Canary Islands volcanic eruption

IN PICS: Houses destroyed and villages evacuated after Canary Islands volcanic eruption
Mount Cumbre Vieja, in Las Manchas area, La Palma. Photo: DESIREE MARTIN / AFP
A volcano in Spain's Canary Islands has destroyed houses, authorities said Monday, as it spewed lava and ash after coming to life over the weekend and forcing some 5,000 people from their homes.

A surge of lava destroyed around 100 homes on Spain’s La Palma island a day after a volcano erupted there, forcing thousands from their homes, local officials said on Monday.

Lava flows approach houses as Mount Cumbre Vieja erupts. Photo: DESIREE MARTIN / AFP

Sergio Rodriguez, a local mayor in a nearby village of El Paso said at least 20 homes were completely destroyed by the Cumbre Vieja volcano, which erupted Sunday for the first time in 50 years.

He spoke of the volcano’s indiscriminate destruction. “The lava left absolutely nothing in its path”, Rodriguez told TVE broadcaster, saying residents were living in uncertainty.

They will “not be going home for a while, most definitely”, he added.

Mount Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma. Photo: DESIREE MARTIN / AFP

Spanish media said as many as 100 homes might have been impacted by the eruption.

The local government predicts that the lava will flow to the southwest, towards more inhabited and wooded areas, before reaching the coast.

As of Sunday, no casualties had so far been reported.

The interior ministry said 200 members of the security services had been mobilised with a helicopter as back up.

A river of lava approaches houses as Mount Cumbre Vieja erupts in El Paso. Photo: DESIREE MARTIN / AFP
The eruption occurred after an earthquake swarm under La Cumbre Vieja, which began a week ago. Since then, there had been thousands of tremors, the strongest with a magnitude of nearly four, the Involcan vulcanology institute said.
Cumbre Vieja erupted twice in the 20th century, once in 1949 and again in 1971. 

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