Catastrophic natural disasters of the 21st century
A volcano has erupted on the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma
© Getty Images
The Cumbre Vieja volcano on the island of La Palma has erupted, sending lava pouring down the mountain towards a local village. La Palma is one of several islands that makes up the Spanish archipelago of the Canary Islands, located close to northwestern Africa. The eruption began on the night of September 19, calling for the speedy evacuation of more than 5,000 residents from nearby villages. Videos captured sprays of lava shooting hundreds of feet into the night sky. The tremors and eruptions continued through the night as molten lava made its way down the hill. So far, at least 20 homes have been destroyed. Tourists and locals unwittingly impeded the evacuation efforts by clogging the roads in an attempt to get a better look at the spectacular disaster. Cumbre Vieja last erupted 50 years ago.
With our increased global connection, and the added pressures of climate change, each new catastrophe is felt more closely throughout the world, and the consequent deaths, illnesses, and devastation are impossible to ignore. Click through to see more examples of incredible damage caused by the elements.
LIFESTYLE Olympic games
TRAVEL United kingdom