La Palma Eruption: Canary Islands Lava Delta Reaches Size of Over 20 Football Pitches
The Canary Island of La Palma has been dealing with the eruption of the La Cumbre Vieja volcano since the middle of September, with lava forcing thousands out of their houses and prompting massive destruction.
Lava from the La Palma volcano that gushed from the mountains down to the Atlantic Ocean and formed a peninsula has reached the size of some 20 hectares, which is the equivalent of over 25 football pitches, according to The Guardian,
citing the Canary Islands Volcanic Institute (INVOLCAN).
The newly-formed lava delta reached the estimated size by late Thursday. INVOLCAN has since released a video showing the fuming lava creating a peninsula in what was once the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
The clip shows the delta as of 16:40 local time (15:40 GMT) on Thursday.
The Canary Islands emergency services warned that the lava from La Cumbre Vieja had reached the Atlantic Ocean earlier on Tuesday, with experts voicing concerns regarding the possible emission of toxic gases
. Local residents were recommended to stay inside for their safety.
According to scientists, the newly-formed lava delta may boost the development of local flora and fauna in the coming years.
"The lava will form a rocky platform that will become a substrate for numerous marine species in the future, that is to say in three to five years", said Fernando Tuya, a biodiversity researcher at the University of La Palma, as cited by The Guardian.
La Cumbre Vieja, an active volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma, began erupting on 19 September, with cascades of lava continuing since then, prompting massive evacuations and the destruction of homes.
Some 6,000 locals were forced to leave their houses, but so far no casualties have been registered. Volcanologists predict that the La Palma eruption could last "between 24 and 84 days".