LOS LLANOS DE ARIDANE, Canary Islands (AP) — A river of fresh lava from the volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma threatened on Wednesday to engulf a parish church that has so far survived the eruption that shows no signs of relaxation after 10 weeks.
The lava flow closest to Los Llanos de Aridane church has slowed since it started over the weekend, but is still only 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) away.
Molten rock from the September 19 eruption in La Palma, part of the Spanish archipelago of the Canary Islands, consumed more than 1,500 buildings and covered more than 1,130 hectares (2,800 acres), including banana plantations, the island’s main source of income along with tourism.
A nearby cemetery was completely covered, burying the remains of 3,000 people for the second time. A crack that volcanologists say spouted lava also left a gaping hole in front of a house whose ground floor was completely covered in a mountain of ash.
“The lava is flowing mostly on top of previous flows that have hardened,” Noelia García, mayor of Los Llanos de Aridane, told Canary Islands Television. “But we dare not make any predictions (about his career).”
The volcano is going strong and seismic activity in the area has increased in recent days. Spain’s National Geographic Institute recorded 341 earthquakes in the past 24 hours.
Thousands of residents have been displaced by the eruption, which claimed no lives on the archipelago’s westernmost member in the Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of Africa .
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