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Cement Factory Engulfed by Lava

The volcano is still going strong.

Last month, the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma erupted for the first time in 50 years, sending ash and lava billowing into the sky in often-spectacular fashion.

More than three weeks later, the volcano is still going strong: a new river of lava began after part of the volcano’s cone collapsed over the weekend, and another eruption was reported by local volcanologists on Monday. The still-growing lava flows have claimed some 1,400 acres of farmland and nearly 1,200 buildings to date — including, officials say, a local cement factory.

Authorities from the Canary Islands said lava reached the cement plant on Monday and sparked a fire. Concerns over the resulting thick plume of toxic smoke prompted the government to order lockdowns in a pair of nearby towns — a decision reportedly affecting 2,500 to 3,000 residents.

Officials warned nearby homeowners to stay indoors, shut their windows and turn off any air conditioners in order to keep the fumes at bay while the lava consumes the factory.

About 6,000 people have been evacuated from La Palma as a result of the eruption; more than 80,000 live on the island. No one has been killed or injured.

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