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14 October 2021

Strongest earthquake since volcano erupted shakes La Palma

14 October 2021

A 4.5-magnitude earthquake has shaken La Palma in Spain’s Canary Islands in what was the strongest recorded tremor since volcanic eruptions began 26 days ago.

The quake was one of around 60 recorded overnight, said Spain’s National Geographic Institute, as the Cumbre Vieja volcano continued to spew fiery rivers of lava that are destroying everything in their path and dumping molten rock into the Atlantic.

The flow from three rivers of molten rock has broadened to about a mile, the La Palma government said.

Work continues to clear ash from the eruption of a volcano on La Palma (Saul Santos/AP) (AP)

Hard, black lava now covers 1,580 acres on the western side of the island, authorities said, though most of La Palma is unaffected.

The lava has partially or completely destroyed more than 1,500 buildings, though prompt evacuations have so far avoided casualties.

More than 6,000 people have had to abandon their homes.

La Palma is part of Spain’s Canary Islands, an Atlantic Ocean archipelago off north-west Africa whose economy depends on tourism and the cultivation of the Canary plantain.

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