Video: Spanish church steeple collapses due to volcano lava
The dramatic scene showed a dense cloud of smoke engulfing the church steeple before it collapsed, disappearing from the horizon.
TODOQUE, Spain – A church on the Spanish island of La Palma collapsed on Sunday after lava from an erupting volcano entered the town of Todoque and reached the building.
The dramatic scene filmed by TV Canarias showed a dense cloud of smoke engulfing the church steeple before it collapsed, disappearing from the horizon.
The volcano, which has buried more than 500 buildings and displaced more than 6,000 people since last week, declined in activity on Monday, although scientists warned it was too early to declare the eruption phase over and that the authorities ordered residents to stay inside to avoid unsanitary conditions. lava fumes meeting marine waters.
The ash plume emerging from the main vent that opened on September 19 stopped in the early hours of Monday, live footage from Cumbre Vieja on the island of La Palma broadcast on TV showed. public of the Canary Islands. But the column of ash and volcanic material returned after a two-hour hiatus.
“The La Palma volcano has entered a phase of less activity,” the Madrid Institute of Geosciences, IGEO, said in a tweet. “Let’s see how it unfolds in the hours to come. “
The archipelago’s volcanological institute has published graphs showing a sharp drop in seismic activity in the region. “In the last few hours, the volcanic quake has all but disappeared, along with the explosive Strombolian activity,” Involcan said on Twitter. But the institute was to follow up later with another post announcing that in addition to the ash cloud, “the re-emission of lava in the main cone is also confirmed.”
Experts were also on high alert as the earthquake swarm that preceded and accompanied Spain’s first land-based volcanic eruption in half a century moved south, with more activity detected in the region of the island of Fuencaliente, said the Spanish National Geographical Institute.
“The fact that the volcano is now less active does not mean that it cannot change,” the institute’s principal investigator, Stavros Meletlidis, told Antena 3, a private Spanish broadcaster.
Meanwhile, island authorities have advised residents of four neighborhoods to stay indoors to avoid poisonous gases that could be released from lava at over 1,000 degrees Celsius (1830 Fahrenheit) encountering the Atlantic Ocean water at a temperature of about 20 degrees Celsius.
Scientists say heat shock results in the release of plumes of water vapor laden with hydrochloric acid and tiny particles of volcanic glass that can cause irritation to the skin, eyes and respiratory tract.
Traders and locals were also sweeping away the ash layer that had fallen on the island’s capital, Santa Cruz de Las Palmas, after winds dispersed the volcano’s cloud the day before.
The speed of the flow had increased since Sunday due to more fluid lava descending a steep slope towards cliffs on the sea. The flow was some 800 meters to reach the water early Monday, authorities said.
More than 230 hectares were buried under the lava, which destroyed more than 18 kilometers of roads, according to Copernicus, the EU’s satellite monitoring service. The molten rock destroyed homes, schools, churches and health centers, as well as irrigation infrastructure for the island’s banana plantations, which provide nearly a third of the island’s jobs.
No deaths or serious injuries have been reported since the volcano erupted.
La Palma, home to around 85,000 inhabitants, is part of the volcanic Canary Islands, an archipelago off the coast of northwest Africa. The island is approximately 35 kilometers (22 miles) long and 20 kilometers (12 miles) wide at its widest point.
Parra reported from Madrid.