The Oklahoman

Lava forces 800 to flee on La Palma


LOS LLANOS DE ARIDANE, Canary Islands – Hundreds of people in Spain’s Canary Islands feared for their homes and property Wednesday as a new river of lava from an erupting volcano threatened another neighborho­od on the island of La Palma.

Island authoritie­s ordered the evacuation of about 800 people from the coastal town of Los Llanos de Aridane on Tuesday after the lava took a new course on its way to the Atlantic.

It was the first mass exit since about 6,000 people were told to leave the immediate area in the hours after the Cumbre Vieja volcano erupted on Sept. 19. No large evacuation­s were needed in the following three weeks.

But on Tuesday, volcano scientists found that a new lava flow to the north of the main river of molten rock had branched off and was heading toward an inhabited area outside what had previously been the evacuation zone.

“A part of the neighborho­od had already been evacuated, but given the evolution of the lava stream, it was deemed necessary to clear this specific zone,” Los Llanos de Aridane Mayor María García told Spanish state broadcaste­r TVE.

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