A fresh river of lava from the volcano further Spain La Palma Island on Wednesday threatened to engulf a parish church that has so far survived the eruption, showing no signs of giving in after 10 weeks.
The nearest lava flow to the church of Los Llanos de Aridane has slowed down since it started at the weekend, but it is still only 1 km away.
Melted rock from the September 19 eruption on La Palma, part of Spain’s Canary Islands, has consumed over 1,500 buildings and covered over 2,800 acres, including banana farms, the island’s main source of income along with tourism.
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A nearby cemetery has been completely covered and is burying the remains of 3,000 people for the second time. A fissure that volcanologists believe has erupted a flood of lava has also left a gaping hole in front of a house whose bottom roofs were completely covered by a mountain of ash.
“The lava is mostly floating on top of previously hardened streams,” Noelia García, mayor of Los Llanos de Aridane, told Canary Islands Television. “But we dare not make a prediction (about its course).”
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The volcano is moving strongly, and the seismic activity in the area has increased in recent days. Spain’s National Geographic Institute has recorded 341 earthquakes in the last 24 hours.
Thousands of people have been displaced by the eruption, which has claimed no lives on the westernmost member of the Atlantic archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa.