People on the Canary Island of La Palma have fled their homes minutes before lava from the erupting volcano engulfed their village. The lava has already consumed at least 183 homes, according to government spokesperson Isabel Rodríguez. The lava has also destroyed between 300 and 400 agricultural holdings, in particular those where bananas are grown.The volcanic lava continued to flow toward the sea Tuesday and a new vent blew open on the mountainside. The new vent is 3,000 feet north of the Cumbre Vieja ridge. A river of lava was bearing down on the neighborhood of Todoque. “The truth is that it’s a tragedy to see people losing their properties,” said municipal worker Fernando Díaz in the town of El Paso.
Lava by Tuesday had covered about 260 acres of terrain, according to the European Union’s Earth Observation Program, Copernicus. On Tuesday, after the crisis cabinet meeting that took place at midday today in Santa Cruz de La Palma, the Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, the Canarian regional premier, Ángel Víctor Torres, and the president of La Palma island council, Mariano Hernández Zapata, all called on locals to take extreme precautions and avoid using the roads. The head of the Canary Islands regional government, Ángel Víctor Torres, said authorities would ask for European Union financial aid to help rebuild. Spain’s King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia are due to visit the affected area on Thursday. The authorities are trying to keep normal life running as usual in parts of the island that are not under threat.The volcano has been spewing out between 8,000 and 10,500 tons of sulfur dioxide a day. These emissions intensified on Monday night . When lava reaches the Atlantic Ocean, it could cause explosions and produce clouds of toxic gas.