With the lava finally flowing into the ocean, “the main concern now is the production of chloride clouds that may impact the air quality and affect the surroundings,” Arnau Folch, a volcanologist and professor of natural hazards at Spain’s National Research Council, said in a phone interview. “It is quite a complex situation, with many hazards occurring at the same time.”
The pyramidlike structure off La Palma’s coast is expected to continue growing as more lava solidifies. In the 1971 eruption, the surface area of La Palma grew by about 5 percent, Mr. Folch said.
On Wednesday, Mr. Torres, the regional leader, told Cope, a Spanish radio station, that since the lava started to spew out, “the whole of the Canary Islands has slept very little, including those on La Palma seized by fear and deep sadness.”
On Tuesday, the Spanish government allocated 10.5 million euros, over $12 million, to help La Palma recover. About half that money is to pay for new houses for those whose homes were destroyed in the eruption.