Tuesday. 28.05.2024

Hundreds more people have been forced to flee their homes as the volcanic eruption on La Palma in the Canary Islands continues.

The Pevolca emergency committee ordered the evacuation of several more villages overnight, affecting some 500 people according to local media reports from Thursday.

Since the eruption of the volcano began over a month ago, some 7,500 people have been evacuated from their homes, approximately 10% of the island's inhabitants.

Many of them will never be able to return however, as their homes have been buried in the lave flow.

Since the volcano became active again after being dormant for half a century, lava has destroyed 2,185 buildings, according to EU's Copernicus Earth Observation Programme on Thursday.

Copernicus reported that 866 hectares of the island are now covered by a metre-thick layer of lava, an increase of 54 hectares - the size of 1,200 football fields - within the past 48 hours.

Lava threatens La Laguna

Meanwhile, the lava flows continue to threaten the centre of the town of La Laguna.

The hot mass, which reaches temperatures of up to 1,270 degrees Celsius, has already come very close to the centre of La Laguna on its journey to the sea.

The 1,650 inhabitants of La Laguna are not in any danger, however, as they have already been evacuated from their homes.

The lava could destroy hundreds more homes, Pevolca leader Miguel Angel Morcuende explained on Wednesday.

But there was still reason to hope that the lava would flow south of La Laguna, he stressed, even though a petrol station and a supermarket outside the town have already been covered by the lava flow.

Hundreds more evacuated as La Palma volcano continues to erupt