Volunteers try to dig out one of HUNDREDS of houses completely buried under ash on La Palma
Volunteers are working to dig out hundreds of homes buried under toxic ash in La Palma, as the island was last night hit by the strongest earthquake since a volcanic eruption almost a month ago.
Footage filmed by local Juanma Hernandez shows homes barely visible under a mountain of black ash.
Volunteers with face masks on can be seen desperately digging with spades to uncover the buildings.
The surrounding hills are also blanketed with ash, with tree tops peeking out from within the heaps.
The camera pans to reveal that as far as the eye can see, the landscape is completely black with ash.
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Volunteers are working to dig out hundreds of homes buried under toxic ash in La Palma, as the island was last night hit by the strongest earthquake since a volcanic eruption almost a month ago
The video emerged as the island was shaken by a 4.5-magnitude earthquake – the strongest since the Cumbre Vieja volcano began erupting on September 19. Pictured: An eruption on Thursday morning
Lava can be seen flowing down the slopes of Cumbre Vieja after part of its cone collapsed on Sunday night
‘If anyone wants to know how much ash has been left near the La Palma Volcano, watch this video,’ Hernandez said.
Blocks of red lava, some as big as three story buildings, rolled down the hillside as La Palma volcano collapsed on itself on Sunday.
Volcanic ash has jagged edges that can cause irritation to eyes, nose and lungs, making breathing difficult.
Volunteers are working non stop to clear roads and public buildings.
Clearing the roads is an important task for the volunteers as the thick layer of ash stops vehicles from moving.
One viewer Dave said: ‘Oh my Lord, that’s infinite work, snow melts but this…’
Another said: ‘I had not seen such a catastrophe in at least a decade since the 2011 tsunami in Japan, I hope the island can recover from this.’
The video emerged as the island was shaken by a 4.5-magnitude earthquake – the strongest since the Cumbre Vieja volcano began erupting on September 19.
Scientists on Wednesday night registered more than 60 earthquakes, of which the biggest was felt across the whole of the island.
Personnel from the Military Emergency Unit are also helping to clear the ash from the volcano, currently blanketing the streets of the isalnd
Footage filmed by local Juanma Hernandez shows homes barely visible under a mountain of black ash
There are now three lava tongues pouring from the volcano, one of them moving at 50 metres an hour. Pictured: Lava flowing from the volcano on Wednesday night
The volcano is seen in the early hours of Sunday – the 24th day since eruptions began at Cumbre Vieja
The 24-hour monitoring volcanic surveillance network of the National Geographic Institute has recorded a total of 55 earthquakes since midnight around the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, eight of them with magnitudes greater than three.
The 4.5-magnitude quake hit the municipality of Villa de Mazo, in the island’s south west, at 2.27am.
‘I was lying in bed watching TV and I felt the bed moving. It was like someone was walking on the roof, the windows were vibrating and it woke my dog up,’ one island resident recalled.
Scientists say the volcanic activity is not likely to end ‘in the short or medium term’.
‘The volcano is releasing a plume of gases 3,000 metres high with high amounts of sulfur dioxide, 17,774 tons per day, and that measure would have to drop to 100 to think that the eruption is coming to an end, ‘ spokeswoman for the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan, María José Blanco said.
There are now three lava tongues pouring from the volcano, one of them moving at 50 metres an hour.