The United States has seen a number of natural disasters this summer. Several include wildfires and drought in the West and tropical storms and flooding along the East Coast. Meanwhile, in Mother Nature’s latest sequence of destructive events, the Canary Islands have been enduring the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano in La Palma throughout the week. Recent satellite photos capture the ultimate destruction of the area.
The images capture nightmarish scenes, with huge plumes of black ash erupting into the sky and coating the island’s streets. Other photos capture lava burning across fields and wiping out entire buildings in its path as it streams toward the sea.
According to the Daily Mail, 6,000 people have been forced to evacuate following the volcanic eruption. The outlet further stated that the volcano initially erupted last Sunday. Further updates state the eruption has entered a new phase. Yesterday saw Cumbre Vieja’s crater collapse causing a new emission vent to open and unleashing increased lava flow.
Video footage captures the bright red magma erupting from the mountainside as hot black ash plummets from above. All around, noxious gas and smoke cloud the volcano’s top and block out the sun.
La Palma Volcano Devastates Island Residents
The week-long eruption is no doubt detrimental to residents’ homes and natural environments alike. Unfortunately, scientists have reported the Cumbre Vieja could continue to erupt for another three months. Additionally, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez stated next week may see officials declare La Palma a “catastrophe zone.”
What makes the eruption all the more devastating is that the volcano has not erupted since 1971.
Numerous residents rush to evacuate either via airplane, which is now no longer an option, or ferry. Many plan to take the ferry to safer locations off the island then and fly to temporary destinations. And although the eruption has destroyed 461 buildings so far, prompt evacuations have prevented fatalities and serious injuries.
Nevertheless, residents of the island have lost much of their livelihood. Fishermen shared the damage they’ve endured in their profession financially. Fisherman Jose Nicolas San Luis Perez said, “We haven’t been out fishing in a week, the area is closed.”
Additionally, Perez is one of the many island residents who’ve lost their homes to the La Palma volcano. He further shared, “About half the people I know have lost their homes. I run into friends on the street and we start crying.”
Scientists highlighted the most intense activity throughout the volcano’s eruption so far. Emergency services stated, “Volcanic surveillance measurements carried out since the beginning of the eruption recorded the highest-energy activity so far during Friday afternoon.
As conditions worsened, officials evacuated three more towns as of Friday. These include Tajuya, Tacande de Abajo, and part of Tacande de Arriba which had not already seen evacuations.