Rubina Fazel, 36, who had moved to the Canary Islands from London, said: “You can’t anticipate things like this happening.” Lava spewed from La Cumbre Vieja volcano for a fourth day on Wednesday
A UK tarot card reader hasn’t predicted a 40ft lava surge will force her to flee her home on the Spanish island of La Palma this week.
Rubina Fazel, 36, who moved from London to the Canary Islands a year ago, was ordered to leave her rental home in the resort town of Puerto Naos with just ten minutes’ notice when the eruption hit started on Sunday.
Lava spewed from La Cumbre Vieja volcano for a fourth day on Wednesday, forcing even more people to evacuate their homes and destroying everything it touches.
More than 6,800 people have been evacuated on La Palma, as authorities scramble to keep the death toll to zero while firefighters work around the clock to try to divert the lava flow from as many homes and buildings as possible.
Ms Fazel was among those told to flee their homes on short notice, shortly after the volcano erupted for the first time in 50 years on the ridge above Puerto Naos.
Speaking to The Times, she said she felt ‘really frantic’ when the sirens went off to warn people to evacuate, and was only able to retrieve her passport, laptop and essential clothing from a backpack.
She said, “You can’t anticipate things like this to happen.”
She told the newspaper that she considered herself lucky. “I’m just lucky to be able to get my things back from the apartment I’m renting. Many other people are in a much worse situation with their livelihoods at stake.”
She added that she hoped to be able to recover her belongings. “I have expensive dresses that would be nice to salvage,” she said. “And all my tarot cards.”
Meanwhile, residents struggled to come to terms with the aftermath of the volcano, which destroyed homes and livelihoods.
In the small town of Los Llanos de Aridane, Lorena, 30, who works in a jewelry store, told Reuters: “All we can do is cry. We are a small company, we live off all these people who have lost everything.
Store owner Nancy Ferreiro held back tears as she swept a thick layer of ash from the street outside her store. “There are no words to explain this feeling,” she said.
Less than 5 km (3 miles) to the south, at Todoque, homes, schools and the banana plantations that produce the island’s biggest export have been completely incinerated by the lava.
The mayor of El Paso, one of the affected municipalities, Sergio Rodriguez, said the eruption “left absolutely nothing in its path” with residents likely not returning home anytime soon.
The lava on its way out to sea was a bit capricious and veered off course,” Rodriguez told Spanish broadcaster TVE.
Experts originally predicted the lava would hit the Atlantic Ocean late Monday, potentially causing explosions and sending up clouds of toxic gas.
But the lava has slowed and may no longer reach the sea, said Miguel Angel Morcuende, technical director of the Pevolca eruption task force.
Despite this, the maritime authorities maintain a two nautical mile zone closed as a precautionary measure.
It has been estimated that the volcano has caused around £74.5million in property destruction so far.