Look at These Surreal Photos of Buildings Submerged by Volcanic Ash

Parts of La Palma in Spain's Canary Islands have been blanketed in thick layers of ash following the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano.
Simon Childs
London, GB
​A house in La Palma submerged in ash. Photo: AP Photo / Emilio Morenatti​
A house in La Palma submerged in ash. Photo: AP Photo / Emilio Morenatti

Smoke is still flowing from the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma in the Canary Islands as it enters its eighth week of activity.

Scientists estimate that the Cumbre Vieja volcano has ejected more than 10,000 million cubic meters of ash since it first began erupting in September.

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Otherworldly photos from the island show a surreal scene of homes, a cemetery and other buildings blanketed in pristine-looking ash, with entire structures submerged in untouched banks of dark grey ash.

The ash is shot thousands of meters into the sky, but the heaviest particles make their way down to the surface, slowly covering buildings.

There is no scientific evidence that the volcano will end anytime soon, according to Carmen Lopez, spokesperson for the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca). The emission of sulphur dioxide, an indicator of the volcano’s strength, fell on Saturday, but this is a normal fluctuation that doesn’t indicate an all clear, Lopez said.

According to state television channel RTVE, on Sunday winds blew a large black cloud of smoke to the south west of the island, allowing the airport to operate as normal – last week, flights had been cancelled. Nevertheless, authorities advised residents of several towns on the island with health problems to stay in their homes.

Emergency services connected to the Canary Islands government have said that the local air quality is “extremely unfavorable” because of the high level of small particles.⁣

More than 7,000 people have been evacuated from their homes due to the threat from the rivers of lava.⁣

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The molten rock has now covered more than 997 hectares and damaged over 2,200 buildings.⁣

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​A cemetery in La Palma submerged in ash. Photo: AP Photo / Emilio Morenatti​

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​A cemetery in La Palma submerged in ash. Photo: AP Photo / Emilio Morenatti​

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​A house in La Palma submerged in ash. Photo: AP Photo / Emilio Morenatti​

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​A house in La Palma submerged in ash. Photo: AP Photo / Emilio Morenatti​

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Garden chairs in La Palma submerged in ash. Photo: AP Photo / Emilio Morenatti​

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A shrub in La Palma submerged in ash. Photo: AP Photo / Emilio Morenatti​

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A building in La Palma submerged in ash. Photo: AP Photo / Emilio Morenatti​