Lava flowing into sea creates delta, expands Spanish island

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LOS LLANOS DE ARIDANE, Canary Islands (AP) — European Union scientists say the surface of Spain’s La Palma island is continuing to expand as lava from a volcano flows into the Atlantic Ocean and hardens. The EU’s Earth observation program said Thursday that satellite imagery showed a D-shaped tongue of molten rock building up on the island’s western shore. The Copernicus program says the delta measured 835 acres by the end of Wednesday. Trade winds typical of Spain’s Canary Islands were helping dispel the plumes of water vapor and toxic gases that result when the hot lava meets the cooler ocean. The hydrochloric acid and tiny particles of volcanic glass released into the air can cause skin, eye and respiratory tract irritation.

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