The eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma, in the Canary Islands, had a devastating effect on one of the main postcards of the area: the beach of Los Girres, one of the local properties to attract surfers.
The beach was covered by a mass of hot lava about 500 meters wide and 700 meters long. According to the newspaper El País, when magma comes into contact with the ocean, it can turn water into something similar to glass.
“It was a magical wave, real magic. And even the wind didn’t change it: it was protected by the rocks that surrounded it. It was the perfect beach for all kinds of surfers, because it was shallow , that’s why the lava is building. So fast there,” said Angel Lobo, president of the Surfing Federation of the Canary Islands, in an interview with El Mundo newspaper.
Lobo also stated that the beach’s water was considered “crystalline” and regretted that the volcano’s lava had replaced the site.
Emissions of gases from volcanoes, including the thermal contrast between lava and the ocean, are composed of water vapor and hydrochloric acid. In addition, the Magna’s contact with the sea created a fissure 475 m from the coast with a depth of 30 m and a surface of 27.7 ha.
Since it erupted two weeks ago, the volcano has spewed 80 million cubic meters of magma and affected at least 1,005 buildings – many residential buildings – of which 885 were destroyed.