A new river of lava belched from the La Palma volcano on Saturday, spreading further destruction on the island in the Atlantic Ocean, where more than 1,000 buildings have already been engulfed or severely damaged by streams of molten rock.
The partial collapse of the volcanic cone overnight gave birth to a new lava flow that began to follow a similar path up the Cumbre Vieja ridge towards the western coast of the island and into the ocean.
Authorities said the new lava flow is within the area that was hastily evacuated after the Sept. 19 eruption, when 6,000 residents were forced to flee their homes and farms.
Police allowed residents whose homes may now be in danger to make trips to salvage what they could. The trucks entered the exclusion zone empty on Saturday and left with mattresses, furniture and other belongings.
Emergency official Miguel Ángel Morcuende said experts were closely watching the delta of new land that was forming off the island’s coast since the main lava flow reached the sea last week.
He said that parts of it could collapse, causing explosions and large waves, but that would not pose a danger since the immediate area has already been evacuated.
A total of 1,186 buildings have been destroyed on La Palma and 497 hectares (1,228 acres) have been covered in lava as of Saturday, according to the European Union’s Copernicus Emergency Management Service.
La Palma airport became operational again after being closed for several days due to volcanic ash.
The island is part of the Canary Islands of Spain, an archipelago off northwest Africa that is a popular vacation destination for European tourists.