Steam Rises as Lava Hits Ocean, Creates New Land on La Palma

Thick clouds of steam rose continuously from the ocean’s surface on the Spanish island of La Palma on Thursday, September 30, where lava from the erupting Cumbre Vieja volcano was creating a new headland as it poured into the Atlantic.

Footage of the scene was captured by Salvamento Marítimo, Spain’s sea search and rescue agency, which was helping to monitor an exclusion zone around the area. Scientists were also on board, collecting samples from the ocean water to test its temperature and chemistry.

Spain’s Guardia Civil police force warned people within 2.2 miles (3.5 km) of the site to stay inside “given the possibility of harmful gas” as the molten lava hit the water. The Canary Islands Volcanology Institute said on September 27 that the lava and saltwater would combine to create “water vapor loaded with hydrochloric acid.” Credit: Salvamento Marítimo via Storyful

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