A NEW vent ripped open on La Palma causing another river of lava to flow towards the sea threatening yet more destruction on the Canary Island.
The new flow of red-hot lava snacked its way towards the coast after another fissure opened on the Cumbre Vieja volcanic ridge on Thursday afternoon.
Multiple vents have opened since the volcano began erupting on Sept. 19 but the Canaries Volcanology Institute described the latest opening as a new “focus of eruption”.
The lava spewing from the new volcano mouth is carving another path threatening to create further devastation on an island that has already seen more than 700 hectares covered over with volcanic rock.
By Friday more than 1,000 homes had been destroyed in the eruption which began on Sunday September 19. Banana plantations that are the source of income for many islanders have also been either destroyed or damaged by volcanic ash.
The first lava reached the coast on Tuesday and since then has created a mass covering 27 hectares of the sea.
Residents across the island have been told to wear masks and goggles to protect themselves from fine ash and acid particles collecting in the air since the eruption.
More than 6,000 people have been evacuated since the eruption began and the residents of four coastal towns have been confined to their homes for fear of gases that emerge when the molten lava hits the sea and send up great clouds of poisonous steam.
The volcano has thrown out 80 million cubic metres of molten rock, regional leader Angel Victor Torres said on Friday, doubling the amount expelled during La Palma’s last major eruption 50 years ago in half the time.
That eruption in October 1971 lasted 23 days but experts predict the current one could continue until Christmas.