La Palma: Lava pours down street towards firefighters
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The volcano in La Palma on the Canary Islands erupted on Sunday and lava has caused the evacuation of over 5,000 residents. Over 100 homes have already been destroyed by the volcanic lava and a new vent has just burst open on the volcano.
The four star hotel, Sol La Palma, was forced to evacuate its 500 guests as lava threatened to engulf the building.
Sol La Palma has 300 rooms and is extremely popular with British tourists visiting the Canary Islands.
The hotel is part of the Mallorcan hotel chain, Mélia Hotels International which also runs Sol La Palma Apartmentos on the island.
CEO Gabriel Escarrer, said all 500 guests had been evacuated to safety, although it is unknown whether they will be transferred to Tenerife or a safer area of La Palma.
Escarrer tweeted: “Our hug and encouragement to all the Palma residents, clients and collaborators of the SolLaPalma hotel, safe after being evacuated preventively in the great operation coordinated by the Authorities.
“A 10 for our people, we hope you can return to paradise soon!”
He said all guests were safe after being “evacuated preventatively in the great operation coordinated by the Authorities”.
Mélia Hotel Internationals has said all the protocols were in place for an efficient evacuation.
The dramatic volcanic eruption is the first on the island in fifty years and has caused widespread damage in La Palma.
Many homes have been completely destroyed as the volcano’s lava “devours everything in its path”, according to a news agency based in the Canary Islands.
The Spanish Minister for Tourism has been criticised for suggesting the volcano could become a “tourist attraction”.
Her critics said she was focusing on the wrong things at a time when people have had to flee from the danger.
Tourists have been advised to leave the island if in danger and take extra precautions on any journeys.
The Canaries are extremely popular with British tourists for their great weather and stunning beaches.
Burning lava has also swallowed holiday villas and boiled tourist swimming pools as it continues onto the sea.
A poison gas cloud could appear once the lava reaches the ocean which is expected to happen today.
Volcano tourism is on the rise with many “lava chasers” travelling the globe to see eruptions.
Aside from the dangers of being caught in an eruption and burned by lava, the poisonous gases emitted can damage people’s lungs.
When the La Palma eruption reaches the sea, experts have said it could emit toxic gases and cause explosions.
The La Palma eruption followed a week of earthquake tremors but locals have still been shocked by the scale of the destruction.
Additional reporting by Rita Sobot.
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