Volcano eruption sends wall of lava through Canary Islands

LA PALMA, Spain (NBC) – A small Spanish island continues to struggle four days after a volcano erupted there, forcing thousands of tourists and residents to flee. As the lava keeps moving down slowly toward the sea, experts warn this can trigger explosions, landslides and produce clouds of toxic gas.

Residents of La Palma and tourists on that island are not out of the woods. They are dealing with new eruptions, more small earthquakes and all that lava we have been seeing. Now experts are warning this may continue for up to 3 months.

Unstoppable lava is swallowing the Spanish island of La Palma. The volcano is so massive it could last for months spewing clouds of ash and smoke and molten lava into the air, now racing down towards villages toward the sea.

A drone overhead caught the moment a stream of lava crashes into a swimming pool. Everything above the house is black and destroyed.

The lava is moving so fast at more than 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, the president of La Palma said “a wall of lava” 20 feet high is consuming everything in its path.

The first eruption Sunday followed thousands of small earthquakes or a “swarm.” And after another quake on Monday, more lava came from a new vent that has blown open near the first one.

More than 6,000 people have been evacuated, including tourists. More than 180 homes have been lost.

It’s the first eruption on La Palma in 50 years, But so far, evacuations are saving lives and officials say there have been no injuries or fatalities on the island.

Much of the destruction so far has been in sparsely-populated countryside areas of the island. What we are watching for is those rivers of lava headed down towards the densely populated coastline. Experts say if the lava spills into the sea, we can see serious explosions and clouds of toxic gas.

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