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La Palma volcano: Lava destroys 100 homes after eruption in Canary Islands

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By Euronews with AP
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Lava flows from an eruption of a volcano near El Paso on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, Spain,
Lava flows from an eruption of a volcano near El Paso on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, Spain,   -   Copyright  Credit: AP
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Local authorities in the Spanish island of La Palma said they've evacuated around 5,000 people in the wake of a volcano eruption, after a weeklong buildup of seismic activity.

No injuries have been reported, so far, but the flowing lava has already destroyed 100 homes as it moves towards the sea at 700 metres per hour.

Canary Islands government chief Ángel Víctor Torres told SER radio that the magmatic material has crept in two streams through a mostly unpopulated area.

“We’re not expecting any other eruption,” he said, adding however that there will be "considerable damage", as the lava "will destroy everything it encounters".

The Military Emergencies Unit is increasing its deployment on the island to 180 soldiers and 57 vehicles, backed up by three water-dropping aircraft due to arrive later on Monday.

Experts however have warned the eruption could last for weeks or even months.

Watch footage of the eruption from Monday afternoon

On Monday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez paid a visit to the affected areas, after he cancelled his trip to New York to attend the UN General Assembly.

The Canary Islands Volcanology Institute reported the initial eruption shortly after 3 pm local time near the southern end of the island, which saw had seen its last eruption in 1971.