La Palma volcano spews lava as it continues to erupt
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The Spanish island of La Palma has been engulfed by rivers of lava with dramatic footage showing the red-hot eruption spreading across the region. Magma has destroyed at least four buildings and intense lightning flashes have intensified the heat and spectacle of the volcanic eruption.
Three weeks since the initial eruption at the volcano located on Spain’s La Palma Island and endless streams of lava are still flowing.
Spanish authorities revealed 1,186 buildings have been destroyed by the magma with homes, farms, swimming pools, roads and industrial buildings falling victim to the fiery force.
The Canary Islands Volcanic Institute said more than 1,200 acres of land had been engulfed by the lava and 6,000 people have been evacuated from their homes.
Anything in the path of the lava has been consumed.
Part of a volcanic cone collapsed on Saturday, sending a flood of bright red-hot magma pouring down from the Cumbre Vieja ridge which first cracked open on September 19.
Rapidly-flowing steam from this site carried away massive chunks of lava which had already hardened.
The regional minister for security on the Canary Islands, Julio Pérez said; “We cannot say that we expect the eruption that began 21 days ago to end anytime soon.”
The magma river, which reaches temperatures of up to 1,240C, has destroyed the last few properties which were still standing in the village of Todoque according to scientists.
Around 21 tremors were recorded on Sunday, with the largest hitting 3.8 magnitude and causing ground shakes in the villages of Mazo, Fuencaliente and El Paso.
This followed from 37 seismic movements on Saturday, with the largest measuring 4.1 according to the Spanish national geological institute.
Spain’s National Security Department tweeted: “The collapse of the northern flank of the Cumbre Vieja volcano has caused the release of large blocks of material and the appearance of new flows that run through areas already evacuated.
“The lava has reached the Camino de la Gata industrial estate and new buildings.”
Canary Island officials have warned of “explosive bombs” of molten lava being launched in the eruption.
These terrifying molten bombs have landed on buildings located more than half a mile away.
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A study published in 2016 found lightning can be produced during volcanic eruptions due to the collision of ash particles which creates an electrical charge.
Unlike ordinary lightning, volcanic lightning can occur before ice crystals have formed in the ash cloud.
The research published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters revealed volcanic lightning appears to occur most frequently around volcanoes with large ash plumes, particularly during active stages of the eruption.
The phenomenon has been recorded at many recent volcanic eruptions including Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull, Japan’s Sakurajima, Italy’s Mt. Etna, and Chile’s Puyehue, Calbuco and Chaiten volcanoes.
Where is La Palma?
La Palma is part of the Spanish Canary Islands, an archipelago off northwest Africa.
The island is around 22 miles long and 12 miles wide at its broadest point.
The popular holiday destination is mostly rugged, forested terrain and is dotted with volcanoes like Teneguía and Cumbre Vieja.
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