A new lava flow from an erupting volcano threatened to devour another part of the city on its way into the Atlantic. The island authorities ordered the evacuation of around 800 people from part of the city on Tuesday after the lava charted a new course and put their homes on the likely path of destruction. Photo: Saul Santos / AP / dpa
This increased the number of people who had to get to safety from the consequences of the volcanic eruption to more than 7,000, as the state TV broadcaster RTVE reported on Thursday.
At the same time, around 100 more light to medium earthquakes were registered. One had a strength of 4.5 and was thus the most violent since the eruption of the volcano on September 19.
Since the northern flank of the volcanic cone collapsed last Saturday, the flow of lava through inhabited areas towards the sea has increased. The emerging lava was also around 1200 degrees hotter than before and therefore thinner and a little faster.
The evaluation of the data from the European Earth observation system Copernicus has so far destroyed 1548 buildings by the lava and covered an area of 680 hectares with lava and ash. That corresponds to about 950 football fields. Nobody has been harmed so far.
According to the operator Aena, the island’s airport was still operational, but was only served by a few airlines such as Binter. Air traffic to the other large tourist islands in the Canaries – Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria or Lanzarote – ran normally.