La Palma: Too early to declare volcano eruption over as lava continues to flow

Molten rock has destroyed homes, schools and all that lies in its path


Scientists have warned it is still too early to declare the eruption phase of the La Palma volcano finished, as it continues to spew lava displacing thousands of people.

More than 500 buildings have been buried on the Spanish island since the volcano began erupting over a week ago, while upwards of 6,000 people have been evacuated.

Though activity at the site lessened on Monday, lava and plumes of black smoke continued to emit from the volcano - with residents warned to stay indoors to avoid unhealthy fumes from lava meeting sea waters.

Satellite images released over the weekend have shown ash and lava flow coming out of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on Spain's La Palma Island. Credit: Planet Labs Inc/AP

Lava has buried more than 230 hectares of land, destroying 18km of road, according to Copernicus, the EU's satellite monitoring service.

The molten rock has destroyed houses, schools, churches and health centres, as well as irrigation infrastructure for the island's banana plantations - an industry which provides nearly one-third of the island's jobs.

No fatalities or serious injuries have been reported.

La Palma, home to about 85,000, is part of the volcanic Canary Islands, an archipelago off northwest Africa.