Lava, smoke and ash cover Spain's La Palma

Walls of lava, which turns black when exposed to the air, have advanced slowly westward since Sunday, engulfing everything in their path, including houses, schools and some banana plantations.

Farmers near the town of Todoque raced to save as much as possible of their crop, piling their trucks high with sacks of the green bananas, on which many of the islanders depend for their livelihood.

Prevailing winds are expected to propel the cloud northeast over the rest of the Canary archipelago, the Iberian peninsula and the Mediterranean, according to the European Union's Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service.

Local authorities have warned people to clean food and clothes to avoid ingesting the toxic ash.

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