Lava and thick black smoke from an active volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma, off the northwest coast of Africa, has continued since the volcano first erupted on September 19.
Spain’s airport authority for the Canary Islands again closed the island’s airport on Thursday due to a build-up of ash from volcanic activity there. The airport was closed once last month because of the ash problem as well.
Scientists monitoring Cumbre Vieja said the eruption was unpredictable. The volcano had calmed down a few days ago, but earlier this week it started to become active again.
The German Research Center for Geosciences, which sent a team to La Palma, said the island’s lava flows were up to 6,300 meters long, over 1,000 meters wide at its widest peak, and up to 25 meters thick.
Experts say molten rock from the volcano’s crater is now flowing down into the previous lava path, hardening the lava, straight into the sea. This eased fears the lava would expand and cause more destruction.
The volcanic eruption has forced the evacuation of more than 6,000 of the approximately 85,000 residents of La Palma. The island is part of the Canary Islands group off the northwest coast of Africa. [uh/ab]