The Cumbre Vieja volcano in La Palma, one of Spain’s Canary Islands, erupted Sunday. Shortly after the initial explosion rocked the area, one black lava flow with a burning tip immediately slid toward houses in the village of El Paso. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has postponed his departure to New York for the UN General Assembly in order to travel to La Palma because of the volcanic eruption. Torres tweeted that he would be at the Head Committee for Civil Protection and Attention for Volcanic Risk Emergencies to assess the situation. The volcanology institute wrote in a statement on Facebook that more than 25,000 earthquakes had been detected in the past nine days around the Cumbre Vieja volcano. “We call on people to exercise extreme caution and to stay away from the eruption area in order to avoid unnecessary risks,” the local government tweeted on Sunday.
Authorities evacuated about five thousands as lava flows destroyed at least eight isolated houses and threatened to reach the coast. Some of them were in shelters. Eruptions continued into the night. Roads were closed and authorities urged the curious not to approach the area. Authorities warned that the lava flows could also threaten the municipalities of El Paraíso, Alcalá and surrounding areas. Mariano Hernández, president of La Palma island, said there were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries. The scientific committee of the Volcano Risk Prevention Plan said part of the island’s southwest coast was at risk for landslides and rock falls.The last eruption on La Palma 50 years ago lasted just over three weeks.