Volcanic eruption on La Palma showing no sign of abating

More than 1,800 buildings, mostly homes, have already been destroyed on the Canary Island.

La Palma volcano
La Palma volcano

There is no sign that a volcanic eruption on the Spanish island of La Palma is coming to an end, four weeks after it began, officials have said.

The volcano on one of the Canary Islands off north-west Africa has so far destroyed more than 1,800 buildings, mostly homes, though prompt evacuations have helped avoid casualties on the island of some 85,000 people.

Canary Islands president Angel Victor Torres said scientists monitoring the eruption that began on September 19 have seen no indications that it is abating, as rivers of lava continue flowing slowly towards the sea.

La Palma earthquake
Workers clear ash from a house in Las Manchas, on La Palma, while the volcanic eruption continues (Saul Santos/AP)

“We are at the mercy of the volcano,” Mr Torres said. “It’s the only one who can decide when this ends.”

Some 7,000 people have had to leave their homes.

The volcano has produced a constant rumble and roar, with dozens of minor earthquakes most days, and has covered a wide area with volcanic ash. The ash plume is several miles high.

Airlines have sporadically had to cancel flights to the islands, including 56 this weekend, due to the ash.

La Palma volcano
The rivers of molten rock have already engulfed more than 1,800 buildings (Daniel Roca/AP)

The latest satellite imagery shows the molten rock has covered almost 1,900 acres, most of it countryside and farm land.

Almost 37 miles of roads have also been ruined.

The Spanish government has pledged millions to help rebuild damaged infrastructure.

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