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Hundreds more buildings in La Palma destroyed as lava flows continue

Lava flowing from the volcano in La Palma has destroyed 1,817 buildings since the eruption began, according to the latest count on Saturday.

Madrid, 17 October 2021 (dpa/MIA) — Lava flowing from the volcano in La Palma has destroyed 1,817 buildings since the eruption began, according to the latest count on Saturday.

The figure shows an increase of 269 buildings, according to a report on state television channel RTVE, citing the European earth observation system Copernicus.

More evacuations have not been organized, however, the report noted.

So far, some 7,000 people have been told to leave their homes amid the ongoing eruption. Many of their homes are no longer standing.

17 October 2021, Spain, La Palma: A man photographs with his mobile phone one of the eruption vents of Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma. Photo: -/EUROPA PRESS/dpa

The volcano in Cumbre Vieja erupted on Sept. 19 for the first time in 50 years. Ever since, lava and ash raining down from the sky have been destroying homes, infrastructure and agriculture, particularly banana plantations. There have been no serious injuries, however.

Furthermore, nearly 40 light to moderate earthquakes have been recorded since midnight, with the most powerful of these with a magnitude of 4.6, occurring at a depth of 37 kilometres, the report said.

“The quakes indicate that the eruption continues unabated,” said Eduardo Suarez, a seismologist at the National Geographic Institute.

Meanwhile La Palma’s airport is still open, according to Aena, its operator, which noted that it is no longer served by international and regional airlines due to the high level of ash in the air.

Air traffic on the other major tourist islands of the Canary Islands — Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria or Lanzarote — is running as usual, the operator said.

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