Rubina Fazel, 36, who had moved to the Canary Islands from London, said: ‘You can’t anticipate things like this happening’. Lava spewed from the La Cumbre Vieja volcano for a fourth day on Wednesday
A British tarot card reader failed to predict that a 40ft wave of lava would force her to flee her home on the Spanish island of La Palma this week.
Rubina Fazel, 36, who had moved to the Canary Islands from London a year ago, was told to leave her rented home in the beach resort of Puerto Naos with just ten minutes’ notice as the eruption began on Sunday.
Lava spewed from the La Cumbre Vieja volcano for a fourth day on Wednesday, forcing even more people to evacuate their homes and destroying everything it touches.
More than 6,800 people have been evacuated on La Palma, as authorities scramble to keep the number of casualties at zero while firefighters work around the clock to try to divert the lava flow from as many houses and buildings as possible.
Ms Fazel was among those who were asked on short notice to flee their homes, shortly after the volcano erupted for the first time in 50 years on the ridge above Puerto Naos.
Speaking to the Times, she said she felt “really frantic” as the sirens went off warning people to evacuate, and was only able to grab her passport, laptop and some essential clothes in a backpack.
She said: “You can’t anticipate things like this happening.”
She told the paper she considered herself lucky. “I am just fortunate to be able to get my stuff back from the flat I’m renting. Lots of other people are in a far worse position with their livelihoods at stake.”
She added that she hoped she would be able to collect her possessions. “I have got some expensive dresses that it would be good to have back,” she said. “And all my tarot cards.”
Meanwhile, residents struggled to come to terms with the aftermath of the volcano that has destroyed homes and livelihoods.
In the small town of Los Llanos de Aridane, Lorena, 30, who works in a jewellers told Reuters: “All we can do is cry. We are a small business, we live off all these people who have lost everything.”
The owner of the shop, Nancy Ferreiro, held back tears as she swept away a thick layer of ash from the street outside her store. “There are no words to explain this feeling,” she said.
Less than 5km (3 miles) to the south, in Todoque, houses, schools and the banana plantations that produce the island’s biggest export have been completely incinerated by the lava.
The mayor of El Paso, one of the affected municipalities, Sergio Rodriguez said the eruption “left absolutely nothing in its path,” with residents unlikely to return to their homes anytime soon.”
The lava on its path to the sea has been a bit capricious and has diverted from its course,” Rodriguez told Spanish broadcaster TVE.
Experts had originally predicted the lava would hit the Atlantic Ocean late on Monday, potentially causing explosions and sending out clouds of toxic gases.
But the lava has slowed to a crawl and may no longer reach the sea, Miguel Angel Morcuende, technical director of the Pevolca eruption taskforce, said.
Despite this, marine authorities are keeping a two nautical mile area in the sea closed as a precaution.
It has been estimated that the volcano has caused around £74.5 million in property destruction so far.
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