La Palma volcano: Swimming pools bubble up as lava spreads through streets

Swimming pools evaporate from the heat of burning hot rocks tumbling in

More people have been forced to evacuate as a new fissure opened on the La Palma volcano, boiling swimming pools and burying buildings.

Rivers of lava, as high as six metres, flowed down hillsides and streets, swallowing villas, crops and warehouses on its downhill path to the sea.

Nothing can survive the unstoppable flow of magma engulfing La Palma, ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers reports

It comes after several small earthquakes shook the Spanish island in the Canaries in the early hours of Tuesday.

The new vent is 900 metres north of the Cumbre Vieja ridge, where the volcano first erupted on Sunday, after a week of thousands of small earthquakes.

It is also close to the Tacande neighborhood, in the Municipality of El Paso.

The earthquakes gave authorities warning that an eruption was likely and allowed more than 5,000 people to be evacuated, avoiding casualties.

Gran Canaria firefighters shared a video of the lava flow moving through a street, writing: 'The force of nature against which we can do nothing.'

Pedro Sanchez, the Spanish Prime Minister, said it will be "weeks" until all of the damage is properly assessed, as steps were taken to declare a state of emergency in the region.

"Today, in the cabinet meeting, the government began all the steps to activate the procedure to declare the state of emergency in the region by the government, these will be long weeks so that we can assess all the damage," he told journalists at a press conference.

Ash and debris after an eruption of a volcano near El Paso on the island of La Palma. Credit: AP
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

"The management of the crisis will not end when the lava meets the sea, but rather when La Palma regains its normality and we have agreed to rebuild everything that has been destroyed already by the lava."

The new vent opened after what the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute said was a 3.8-magnitude quake late on Monday.

By Tuesday, lava had covered about 260 acres of terrain and destroyed 166 houses and other buildings, according to the European Union’s Earth Observation Program, called Copernicus.

Hot lava reaches a swimming pool after an eruption of a volcano on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, Spain. Credit: Europa Press via AP

Gran Canaria firefighters shared a video of lava flowing through a street, writing: “The force of nature against which we can do nothing.”

The Cumbre Vieja began erupting around 3pm (2pm GMT) on Sunday. Scientists say the lava flows could last for weeks or months.

Cumbre Vieja is one of the most active volcanic regions on the island and its last eruption was in 1971.