La Palma: Lava pours down street towards firefighters
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Dramatic images show a picturesque mountain cottage narrowly avoid being swallowed by lava after the Cumbre Vieja volcano erupted on the island of La Palma. The cottage’s lucky escape was captured by photographer Alfonso Escalero via helicopter and shared on Instagram.
The picture shows lava on all four sides of the single-storey property, protected by a circle of palm trees which have remained standing and intact.
Instead of engulfing the building like it had so many others, the river of lava opened up to leave a shape like the letter ‘D’ around the cottage, with the green of the mountainside still untouched a few feet either side of its walls.
A message alongside the breath-taking image, which is being dubbed ‘esperanza’, which is Spanish for hope, said: “Saved or isolated. Everything is like this in La Palma.
“Today I haven’t got the strength to take more photos with the first light of light. We will go out tonight like donkeys, with our eyes covered. Sorry!”
Social media users branded the image “incredible” and said it united the spectacle of nature and tragedy.
Mr Escalero said: “We went to record beauty and we found hell. The images we saw have caused great emotional impact.”
On Tuesday, the west of the island was officially declared a natural disaster zone as lava reached the former farming village of Todoque, which is home to 1,300 people who have been evacuated.
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The Cumbre Vieja eruption came after La Palma registered up to 1,000 earthquakes in the previous five days alone.
Despite raising the emergency level to yellow, the eruption caught island officials by surprise as they thought the chances of an eruption were slim.
The natural disaster has already affected nearly 200 houses on the Canary Island and threatens to eat up around 1,000 more.
Angel Victor Torres, the Canary Islands’ regional president, said the cost of the natural disaster will reach “much more than £340million”. The eruption has affected the municipalities of Tazacorte, El Paso, Fuencaliente, Mazo and Los Llanos de Aridane, which are home to around 35,000 people.
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