Volcano in Canary Islands continues to burble, raining ash, destroying homes and sending lava into the sea.

Several small earthquakes shook the Spanish island of La Palma off northwest Africa, keeping nerves on edge as rivers of volcanic lava continued to flow toward the sea Tuesday and a new vent blew open on the mountainside, the Associated Press reported.

After moving downhill across the island’s countryside since Sunday’s eruption, the lava is gradually closing in on the more densely populated coastline.

Officials said a river of lava was bearing down on the neighborhood of Todoque, where more than 1,000 people live and where emergency services were preparing evacuations.

About 6,000 people on La Palma have been evacuated so far and 183 houses damaged, government spokeswoman Isabel Rodríguez said after a Cabinet meeting in Madrid.

“The truth is that it’s a tragedy to see people losing their properties,” said municipal worker Fernando Díaz in the town of El Paso, though he noted that people were also suffering by not knowing the fate of their homes as police kept people away from the lava flows.

“For the lucky ones they would have some peace in knowing that their homes haven’t been affected,” he said. “This uncertainty is complicated.”

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