Lava from La Palma eruption finally reaches the Atlantic

LOS LLANOS DE ARIDANE, Canary Islands (AP) — Lava from a volcano on Spain’s Canary Islands has finally reached the Atlantic Ocean after days of wiping out hundreds of homes and forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents. Columns of steam that experts had warned could contain toxic gases shot upward when the bright red molten rock tumbled into the Atlantic. The area had been evacuated for several days as authorities waited for the lava to reach the water. Lava flows from the Sept. 19 eruption on La Palma have destroyed at least 656 buildings and forced over 6,000 people to leave their homes. Experts say the ash cloud from the volcano has reached 7 kilometers (nearly 4 1/2 miles) high.