Life Science Molten lava from Spanish volcano engulfs pool, houses
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Molten lava from Spanish volcano engulfs pool, houses

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Incredible drone footage has laid bare the path of devastation left by an erupting volcano in the Canary Islands.

The Cumbre Viejo volcano on the island of La Palma erupted on Sunday, startling residents when it woke from its 50-year slumber.

5000 residents and tourists were initially evacuated.

But another 1000 people from the neighbourhood of Tacande Alto have since also been prompted to evacuate, as the magma surging towards the ocean changed course, La Palma mayor Sergio Rodriguez said on Wednesday (Australian time).

No fatalities or injuries have yet been reported.

La Palma, often nicknamed ‘Isla Verde’ meaning ‘green island’, has turned to a tone of ash as Cumbre Viejo’s eruption continues.

In footage obtained by CNN, a molten wall of lava can be seen devouring a pristine swimming pool belonging to one of about 150 homes already destroyed.

The surface of the pool is seen bubbling and steaming as the lava engulfs the remainder of the property.

Authorities have reassured residents they won’t be in danger if they follow recommendations.

Grancanaria Firefighters have documented their efforts in assisting residents and monitoring the spread of the lava.

Another video shows firefighters standing in the slow but deadly path of the eruption.

The caption reads: “The force of nature against which we can do nothing.”

The lava was initially expected to reach the ocean on Monday night, but its speed has fallen to 200 metres per hour.

It will eventually reach the ocean, while the volcano might keep erupting for days or even weeks.

La Palma’s last eruption in 1971 – from the Teneguia volcano – lasted for more than three weeks.

Experts say that when the lava reaches the sea, it is likely to trigger more explosions and clouds of toxic gases. Marine authorities are keeping a two nautical mile area in the sea around the area closed as a precaution.

-with AAP