Canary Islands: Fresh earthquake on La Palma speeds up evacuations after volcano eruption

© REUTERS La Palma volcano

The evacuation of thousands of residents from La Palma has been speeded up after the island was rocked by another earthquake.

A new fissure opened up, spewing more lava, shortly before the 3.8 magnitude quake occurred on Monday at 9.32pm

Volcanic Discovery reported that the new fissure opened in Tacande, in the municipality of El Paso.

The seismic activity occurred a day after the Cumbre Vieja volcano erupted, forcing 5,500 to be evacuated away from the giant rivers of lava which have already destroyed more than 100 homes on the hillsides.

It was the first volcanic eruption in 50 years in Spain’s Canary Islands. Giant rivers of lava have since tumbled slowly but relentlessly toward the sea.

After the new fissure opened up authorities ordered the evacuation of another neighbourhood and closed roads.

© Provided by Evening Standard (REUTERS)

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez visited the affected area Monday after delaying his trip to New York to attend the UN. General Assembly.

He praised scientists for monitoring the eruption, saying their work was “fundamental” in avoiding casualties, and promised that his government would help local people rebuild their lives.

The Canary Islands Volcanology Institute reported the initial eruption shortly after 3 pm Sunday near the southern end of the island.

A 4.2-magnitude quake was recorded before the eruption, which took place in an area known as Cabeza de Vaca on the western slope as the ridge descends to the coast.

La Palma, with a population of 85,000, is one of eight Canary Islands. At their nearest point, the islands are 60 miles from Morocco.

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