This incredible image of the Cumbre Vieja volcanic eruption on the island of La Palma was captured from orbit by a Russian cosmonaut on board the International Space Station.
The picture was snapped by Oleg Novitsky, 49, a Russian cosmonaut currently in orbit on the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday, 29th September.
Oleg is serving as a cosmonaut with Roscosmos and is a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Russian Air Force who logged over 700 hours of flight time.
He has spent a total of 340 days in space and was awarded the Hero of the Russian Federation for service to his country.
According to official statistics, the eruption began on 19th September at 3.13 pm local time.
On 29th September, the volcanic activity hit headlines when the lava flow finally made contact with the sea.
The journey of the lava from Cumbre Vieja to the sea took 10 days and in the process hit 744 buildings, completely destroying at least 656.
The financial impact of the eruption totals an estimated EUR 206 million (GBP 178 million), according to the Spanish news agency EFE.
Ramon Margalef Eugenio Fraile, from the Spanish Oceanographic Institute (IEO), told the newspaper El Pais that the lava has already covered around 5 to 10 hectares of sea and has built up into a 50 metre (164 foot) high pyramid-shaped mound.
The National Police issued a warning to anyone on the island within 3.5 kilometres (2.3 miles) of where the lava makes contact with the sea as it is possible it could send harmful gases into the air.
The Canary Islands Volcanological Institute stated earlier this week that when lava mixes with seawater “water vapour loaded with hydrochloric acid” can be given off, which is extremely toxic to humans.
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Despite the carnage caused by the eruption and the current concerns about toxic vapours, the lava reaching the sea has given hope to islanders that it will no longer flow towards their homes.
Angel Victor Torres, regional premier of the Canary Islands, said: “The lava now has a route to the sea.”
However, the Institute of Volcanology of the Canary Islands, the eruption could last up to 84 days.
So far at least 10,000 people have been evacuated.
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Story By: Peter Barker, Sub-Editor: Lee Bullen, Agency: Newsflash
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