La Palma volcano: Dramatic images show homes and graveyards blanketed in ash

A house is covered by ash from the volcano as it continues to erupt on the Canary island of La Palma. Credit: AP

Surreal pictures captured on the Spanish island of La Palma show a deserted landscape blanketed in ash, more than six weeks since the volcano first erupted.

Much of the area surrounding the volcano is unrecognisable, buried beneath blankets of black soot.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano has left more than 1,000 hectares of the island’s surface covered in lava and triggered the evacuation of some 7,000 people.

The eruption is still continuing, with molten rock creeping towards a beach restaurant on the island after one of the lava flows descended from the Cumbre Vieja ridge reached the sea.

While most residents on the island of 85,000 have remained unaffected, a series of stark photographs reveal the stillness in the areas and natural landscapes that have been impacted.

A swing is covered by ash from a volcano as it continues to erupt on the Canary island of La Palma. Credit: AP
Either lava or thick particles of ash raining down have destroyed hundreds of properties. Credit: AP

The eruption on La Palma, part of Spain’s Canary Islands off northwest Africa, has alternately surged and ebbed since September 19.

It has consumed homes, farms, swimming pools and industrial buildings in the largely agricultural area.

A fountain is covered with ash spewed out by the volcano. Credit: AP
More than 1,000 hectares of the island’s surface has been covered by lava. Credit: AP
Ash covers the graves at the La Palma cemetery. Credit: AP

Despite the volcano continuing to erupt, scientists have recorded lower overall seismic activity levels during the past week, according to Spain’s National Geographic Institute.

There have been no reported casualties, but fears have been cast about the island's economic recovery as scores of banana plantations- so key to local trade- have been destroyed in the trail of the volcano.

According to regional authorities, the eruption has already caused 100 million euros in losses for the banana industry in La Palma.

A volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma has been erupting for over six weeks. Credit: AP
Spanish army soldiers remove the ash from the roof of a house on the island of La Palma. Credit: AP

Last week, authorities told people who live near the Cumbre Vieja volcano to stay indoors because of a heavy fall of ash that had forced the cancellation of flights and school classes.

Local air quality is “extremely unfavourable” because of high levels of small particles in the air, emergency services belonging to the Canary Islands government said.

Scientists have estimated that the eruption could last for months.