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La Palma volcano eruption shows no sign of slowing down 4 weeks in, officials say

Click to play video: 'Cumbre Vieja volcano’s volatility: New threats at La Palma after volcanic crater partly collapses' Cumbre Vieja volcano’s volatility: New threats at La Palma after volcanic crater partly collapses
WATCH: The erupting Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma has turned life on the Spanish island upside down, as flowing lava displaces thousands of people who have now lost everything. As Eric Sorensen explains, scientists say this volcano is proving to be unpredictable – Oct 25, 2021

There is no sign that a volcanic eruption on the Spanish island of La Palma is coming to an end, four weeks after it began, officials said Sunday.

The volcano on one of the Canary Islands off northwest Africa has so far destroyed more than 1,800 buildings, mostly homes, though prompt evacuations have helped avoid casualties on the island of some 85,000 people.

Canary Islands President Angel Victor Torres said scientists monitoring the eruption that began Sept. 19 have seen no indications that the eruption is abating, as rivers of lava continue flowing slowly toward the sea.

Read more: Beyond the lava: Where are volcanoes erupting and how long can they last?

“We are at the mercy of the volcano,” Torres told reporters. “It’s the only one who can decide when this ends.”

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Some 7,000 people have had to leave their homes.

The volcano has produced a constant rumble and roar, with dozens of minor earthquakes most days, and has covered a wide area with volcanic ash. The ash plume is several kilometres high.

Click to play video: 'La Palma volcano: Lava lights up sky as island residents both scared, ‘fascinated’ by eruptions' La Palma volcano: Lava lights up sky as island residents both scared, ‘fascinated’ by eruptions
La Palma volcano: Lava lights up sky as island residents both scared, ‘fascinated’ by eruptions – Oct 10, 2021

Airlines have sporadically canceled flights to the islands, including 56 flights over Saturday and Sunday, due to the ash.

The latest satellite imagery showed the molten rock has covered 754 hectares, most of it countryside and farm land.

Almost 60 kilometres of roads have also been ruined.

The island lives mainly from tourism and banana plantations. The government has pledged millions of euros (dollars) to help rebuild damaged infrastructure.

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