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Credit: Reuters
Credit: Reuters
World News

WATCH: Church toppled by lava as La Palma volcano eruption continues

A church on the Spanish island of La Palma has been destroyed by lava that spewed from the erupting Cumbre Vieja volcano. 

Footage of the dramatic moment shows smoke billowing towards the belltower before the entire church comes crumbling down to the ground. 

Thousands have been forced to flee their homes as the lava creeps through villages and towns following the eruption on 19th September.  

So far, the volcano has ejected more than 46 million cubic metres (1.6 billion cubic feet) of molten rock, destroying more than 500 homes. 

With the lava slowly edging down towards the ocean, officials are becoming concerned the rock's reaction with the seawater could release a plume of toxic vapour into the atmosphere, endangering the island's inhabitants.

So far, no fatalities or serious injuries have been reported by the authorities, though 15 per cent of the island's banana crop could be at risk.

Spanish property portal Idealista estimated the damage at around 178 million euros (£154 million) on Monday.

La Palma has a population of just under 90,000 people. 

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