The Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma has erupted, spewing molten lava down its rocky sides and forcing all residents to avoid the outdoors for the time being.
The lava glows so brightly that it can be seen from space. According to the Volcanic Institute of the Canaries, the magma formed has created a new peninsula – one that spans the equivalent of 25 football pitches.
The eruptions began as a result of minor earthquakes, registering an average of 3.5 magnitude. They blew open a fissure in the volcano’s crusts, triggering the downfall of fresh and boiling lava.
Plans to evacuate citizens were then put in place. 6,000 people, including hundreds of tourists, have safely escaped. However, a temporary lockdown has been put in place for all residents who will be staying.
When the lava touches the sea, it creates a special type of haze that is far-reaching and incredibly reactive to human flesh. The fumes exhausted can lead to intense skin and eye irritation.
Face masks have been issued but instead of coronavirus, the fear of inhaling ash is prevalent. Umbrellas and eye protection are essential as workers attempt to clear the streets of volcanic remnants.
It is estimated that over 100 properties have been destroyed so far, with many temporary shelters being used to house those who have been displaced. Businesses and farm areas too have met their ends to the searing fire.
Thankfully, there have been no reported deaths or injuries as the evacuation and protection efforts were both swift and effective.
Despite this being the first eruption on La Palma in around 50 years, the recovery plan has always been on standby just in case, and it has been put in effect in the last few days.
Local media has captured some staggering footage of the volcano erupting. Reports say a new crack in the cliffside is causing the lava to increase its speed and heat, which means this doesn’t look to stop any time soon.
The best thing anyone can do in response to a force of nature like this is to get as far away as possible. This is just one of the occasions where all humanity can do is sit and watch.
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