After 10 days from the original volcanic eruption, the lava has finally reached the sea but wiped hundreds of homes in the process. There were no reported deaths or injuries but it forced the evacuation of thousands of residents. The molten lava reached the Atlantic Ocean at 11 p.m. on Tuesday.
Experts said columns of steam that contained toxic gases shot upward when the lava made contact with the ocean. The surrounding area had been evacuated for several days as officials waited for the lava to travel 6.5 kilometres to the water. It took longer than expected as the lava had erratic flows which changed terrain and slowed its progress.
Authorities asked residents to stay indoors with closed windows to avoid toxic gases and set up a security perimeter of 3.5 kilometres. The eruption occurred on September 19 and at least 589 buildings have been destroyed. La Palma is home to about 85,000 people and is part of the volcanic Canary Islands, an archipelago off northwest Africa.
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