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La Palma Records Strong Earthquake as Volcano Eruption Continues

Lava from the Cumbre Vieja volcano flows behind houses in Los Llanos on the Canary Island of La Palma, October 13, 2021.

A 4.5-magnitude earthquake struck the Spanish island of La Palma overnight Thursday, officials said, the strongest recorded since the island’s Cumbre Vieja volcano began erupting last month.

Spain’s National Geographic Institute reports the earthquake was one of as many as 100 that shook the island in the past 24 hours. Earthquakes have been a regular feature of the volcanic eruption that began on the island September 19 and shows no signs of stopping soon.

Meanwhile, the Canary Islands Security and Emergencies Department has ordered 300 more residents to evacuate from Tazacorte and La Laguna as the lava flow advances closer to those towns.

The eruption has forced more than 6,000 to abandon their homes on the island.

More than 1,500 buildings and more than 600 hectares of land on the western side of the island have been destroyed by lava flows

The La Palma government said the flow from three rivers of molten rock has broadened to more than 1.7 kilometers.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez visited the Island Wednesday and said the government is considering additional aid for the island residents and its industries, which have been disrupted if not devastated by the eruption.

The government has already approved about $250 million in assistance.

La Palma is part of the Canary Islands archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.