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Lava from La Palma volcano ignites fire in cement factory, pushing 2,500 people to containment

Emergency teams gave people living between the towns of Tazacorte and La Laguna a few hours to collect their belongings and animals and get to a meeting point.

During the morning, a 4.5 magnitude earthquake rocked the island, said the Spanish National Geographical Institute, the strongest of 100 earthquakes that hit the eruption area in the past 24 hours.

Tremors have been recorded almost constantly since before the eruption.

With no end to the eruption, which is in its fourth week, authorities said they expect the lava flow to continue to spread northwest of the volcano.

The incandescent lava has already devastated nearly 600 hectares of land and destroyed around 1,500 homes and other buildings, including a cement plant that released toxic fumes earlier in the week.

The flow also devoured banana and avocado plantations vital to the island’s economy.

According to the official register, 300 people live in the area between Tazacorte and La Laguna.

A small group of 10 to 15 people living nearby has already left on Wednesday evening. More than 6,000 people were evacuated to the island of 83,000 inhabitants.