Spain’s La Palma island is expanding. As the red-hot lava from the volcano that erupted on the island on September 19 reached the Atlantic Ocean this week, it triggered plumes of white steam. The molten rock cooled rapidly on coming into contact with the water, binding itself to the cliffside, enlarging the island’s territory. A drone captured the historic moment.
By the end of Wednesday, the surface of La Palma island had increased by 338 hectares (835 acres), courtesy of a D-shaped tongue of molten rock that has formed on the island’s western shore. But now, there are fears that parts of the shoreline could collapse, triggering explosions.
Authorities were also worried that the lava meeting the Atlantic would produce clouds of toxic gases which can cause skin, eye, and respiratory tract irritation. However, the wind direction has been cooperating, so thankfully the air inland is okay to breathe as of now.
Drone video shows lava from La Palma volcano meeting the ocean
But while the wind direction may be fine for the moment, La Palma’s troubles are far from over. As the lava continues to run downhill like a river, it has wiped out at least 855 buildings and 18.6 miles of roads so far. Authorities fear that uneven terrain could make the lava overflow its current path, spread to other areas, and destroy more houses and farmland.
Incidentally, a single home that was in the path of the lava was spared from its wrath last week, promoting social media users to call it the “miracle house”.
Drone footage shows La Palma ‘miracle house’ spared by lava
More than 6,000 residents have been evacuated so far. Moreover, several villages near the coastline are locked down as a precaution.
Drone captures La Palma’s volcanic cone collapsing
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