La Palma eruptions continue as lava approaches the sea

Emergency authorities early on Monday ordered people in an area on the eastern shore of La Palma island to lock down as the lava gushing from the Cumbre Vieja volcano approaches the sea.

The 1,250 Celsius degree lava may touch the Atlantic Ocean in the coming hours, likely causing explosions and send clouds of toxic gases over the island, the Canary Islands emergency services warned on Monday morning.

People on the coastal areas of San Borondon, Marina Alta and Baja and La Condesa were ordered to lock down.

Also read | Volcanic eruption could last three months in Spain’s Canary Islands, say experts  

On Monday morning after dawn, the volcano was quieter than in the previous days. Spanish TV showed lava spurting from the volcano and clouds of smoke rising above the hillside.

Since the volcano started erupting on September 19, the flow of black lava has engulfed more than 230 hectares, the European Union satellite monitoring service Copernicus said, swallowing hundreds of houses as well as roads, schools, churches and banana plantations and forcing thousands to evacuate.

La Palma, with a population of over 83,000, is one of an archipelago making up the Canary Islands.