The red-hot lava from the volcano Cumbre Vieja on the Canary island of La Palma reached the Atlantic Ocean late Tuesday evening, Reuters news agency reported. Images from Spanish television show large clouds of white steam rising as the lava flowed into the sea at Playa Nueva.
Also read this report: Wall of lava moves to sea
Experts had warned in advance that explosions could occur if the lava flowed into the water. As a precaution, thousands of people were evacuated from the coastal area and three villages were completely closed off. Canary emergency services director Miguel Angel Morcuende warned everyone in the area on Tuesday to stay indoors as the lava would reach the ocean. There are currently no reports of injuries.
On the way to the sea, the lava has destroyed roads, buildings and crops. Almost 600 houses and banana plantations have been destroyed by the volcanic eruption. In total, more than 230 hectares of land has been engulfed by the lava flow.
The Spanish government declared La Palma a disaster area on Tuesday. As a result, emergency support is now available. The first aid package has a value of 10.5 million euros and is intended for people who have lost their homes and furniture.