Seven days after a volcano on La Palma erupted, lava flow and ash continue to spread shutting down the local airport and leaving hundreds without a home. As of Friday, almost 6,000 people have evacuated.
The government is working to locate emergency housing for the affected families as researchers are unsure when the ash and lava flow will stop.
The Minister of Public Works Transport and Housing of the Government of the Canary Islands, Sebastián Franquis announced Friday his department purchased 257 newly built homes. The homes will be offered to families affected and left homeless by the volcano eruption.
Photos of the eruption: Volcano on Spain’s Canary Island of La Palma erupts
First eruption in 30 years: Lava destroys homes and forces evacuations
The "ash accumulation" shut down La Palma's airport on Saturday, after several flights to and from La Palma were canceled on Friday afternoon, Spain's airport operator AENA tweeted on Saturday.
📢El #aeropuerto de #LaPalma se encuentra inoperativo por acumulación de ceniza. Se han iniciado las tareas de limpieza, pero la situación puede cambiar en cualquier momento.
👉La prioridad es garantizar la seguridad de las operaciones. #SafetyFirst pic.twitter.com/tOhpIpBUma
— Aena (@aena) September 25, 2021
Miguel Ángel Morcuende, the technical director of the Pevolca, said he can't predict when the lava flow will reach the sea. Pevolca establishes a "volcano traffic light" and alert system for local residents.
"The old lava flow is almost stationary, perhaps advancing 20 centimetres per hour, 3,100 metres from the eruption and 2,100 from the coast," Morcuende told local reporters.
Pérez also confirmed the volcano is reaching new "explosive" activity that could lead to more evacuations and home destroyed, he told Canarias Radio.
"Volcanic surveillance measurements carried out since the beginning of the eruption recorded the highest-energy activity so far during Friday afternoon," Pérez said.
Follow Gabriela Miranda on Twitter: @itsgabbymiranda
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Spanish volcano eruptions continue, closing airport and damaging homes