An erupting volcano on a Spanish island off northwest Africa blew open two more fissures on its cone Friday that belched forth lava, with authorities reporting “intense” activity in the area.
The new fissures, about 15 meters (50 feet) apart, sent streaks of fiery red and orange molten rock down toward the sea, parallel to an earlier flow that reached the Atlantic Ocean earlier this week.
The volcano was “much more aggressive,” almost two weeks after it erupted on the island of La Palma, said Miguel Ángel Morcuende, technical director of the Canary Islands’ emergency volcano response department.
Overnight, scientists recorded eight new earthquakes up to magnitude 3.5.
The eruption was sending gas and ash up to 6,000 meters (almost 20,000 feet) into the air, officials said.
The prompt evacuation of more than 6,000 people since the September 19 eruption helped prevent casualties.
A new area of solidified lava where the molten rock is flowing into the sea extends over more than 20 hectares (50 acres).
Officials were monitoring air quality along the shoreline. Sulfur dioxide levels in the area rose but did not represent a health threat, La Palma’s government said.
However, it advised local residents to stay indoors. It also recommended that people on the island wear face masks and eye protection against heavy falls of volcanic ash.