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800 people to be forced to evacuate Lava from volcano on Spain's La Palma

800 people to be forced to evacuate Lava from volcano on Spain's La Palma

LOS LLANOS DE ARIDANE, Canary Islands (AP) Hundreds of people on La Palma in Spain's Canaries Islands awoke on Wednesday fearing for their homes and property after lava from an erupting volcano threatened to engulf another neighborhood on its way to the Atlantic Ocean.

On Tuesday, Los Llanos de Aridane officials ordered the evacuation of around 800 people from a section of the coastal town of Los Los Lino de Aridano after the lava changed course and put their homes in its possible path of destruction.

In the hours following the initial Sept. 19 eruption, 6,000 people were evacuated from the area because their homes and businesses were directly below the path of the volcano's initial lava stream.

In the following three weeks, no additional mass evacuations had been necessary. But volcanologists advised authorities that a new lava flow to the north of the main river of molten rock had branched off and was heading towards an uninhabited area outside of what had previously been the evacuation zone on Tuesday.

Mara Garco, Los Llano de Aridane mayor, told Spanish state television station TVE that a portion of the neighborhood had already been evacuated, but given the evolution of lava stream it was deemed necessary to clear this specific area, she said.

Residents of the La Laguna neighborhood had a few hours to gather up their most precious possessions and leave. Volunteers helped staff at a local school salvage educational materials, while others loaded cars and trucks with furniture.

Pedro Snchez, the spanish prime minister's third visit to the island since the eruption, will visit the area on Wednesday, his fourth visit since.

La Palma is a part of Spains Canary Islands, an Atlantic Ocean archipelago off northwest Africa whose economy is dependent on the cultivation of the Canarian plantain and tourism.

Over 1,400 structures, including homes, farms, and other structures have been destroyed, as well as 656 hectares (1,621 acres), including 90 acreage (more than 200 acres) dedicated to the development of plantains. No lives have been lost.

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