The Oklahoman

Volcano-weary island hit by strong quake


MADRID – A 4.5-magnitude earthquake shook La Palma in Spain’s Canary Islands in what was the strongest recorded temblor since volcanic eruptions began 26 days ago, authoritie­s said Thursday.

The quake was one of around 60 recorded overnight, Spain’s National Geographic Institute said, as the Cumbre Vieja volcano continued to spew fiery rivers of lava that are destroying everything in their path and dumping molten rock into the Atlantic Ocean.

The lava has damaged or destroyed more than 1,600 buildings, about half of them houses, officials said, though prompt evacuation­s have so far prevented any deaths.

Around 7,000 people have had to abandon their homes, 300 of them Thursday.

“This is definitely the most serious eruption in Europe of the past 100 years,” Canary Islands President Ángel Víctor Torres said.

“The only good news is that ... so far, nobody has been hurt,” he said.

The flow from three rivers of molten rock broadened to just over a mile, the La Palma government said, but their advance has slowed to a crawl.

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