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La Palma volcano: Drone footage shows new lava flows as earthquakes rattle island

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By Euronews
The Cumbre Vieja volcano continues to erupt on the Canary Island of La Palma, as seen from El Paso, Spain, October 4, 2021
The Cumbre Vieja volcano continues to erupt on the Canary Island of La Palma, as seen from El Paso, Spain, October 4, 2021   -   Copyright  JUAN MEDINA/REUTERS

Earthquakes rattled La Palma in Spain's Canary Islands on Monday, as lava continued to flow from vents in the volcano that has been erupting since September 19.

Officials said they didn’t expect to evacuate any more people from the area, because the molten rock was following the same route to the sea as earlier flows.

Spain’s National Geographical Institute said it recorded two quakes early on Monday that measured more than 3.0 magnitude.

“It’s not over yet, we don’t even know how long there is to go,” the Canary Islands’ regional president Ángel Víctor Torres told public broadcaster RTVE. “We’re in nature’s hands.”

Health is of increasing concern as there has been little let-up of discharge from the Cumbre Vieja volcano since it started erupting.

Lava flowing from vents has destroyed over 900 buildings and displaced about 6,000 people so far, and new vents opened just days ago.

The island of 85,000 people lies in Spain's Canary Islands archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of Africa.

Emergency personnel are continually monitoring air quality in residential areas affected.

Experts estimate the debris has already covered an area bigger than 25 football pitches.

On Sunday the Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez pledged another €200 million to help the island recover from the damage.

Sanchez was briefing journalists after visiting the affected area of the Canary Islands for the third time. The government has declared the island a disaster area.

According to Sanchez, the extra money will rebuild crucial infrastructure for the island´s economy, mainly irrigation networks for the important banana export industry and other agricultural crops, as well as roads that serve the hiking trails and beaches that attract tourists.

The funds also aim to create jobs and cut taxes for La Palma residents.

“We are facing a test of resistance, because we don't know when the volcano's eruption will end," Sánchez said.

“But citizens should know that when it does end, the government of Spain will be there to help with the enormous task of rebuilding La Palma and offer a horizon of prosperity.”

The announcement of increased aid comes on top of the €10.5 million for building houses and basic necessities approved by the government last week.

On Sunday, the Canary Islands' volcanology institute, Involcan, said the explosive activity in the vents of the volcano had intensified, while several medium-range earthquakes were recorded by the country's geographic institute, IGN.

Despite the eruption's spectacular images and its damage to property, no casualties have been reported, mainly due to speedy evacuations.