The Spanish island of La Palma was covered with lava as a huge cloud of toxic ash drifted from the Cumbre Vieja volcano toward the mainland, Thursday, September 23.
READ MORE: Jets of red hot lava shot into the sky on Spain's La Palma on Thursday as a huge cloud of toxic ash drifted from the Cumbre Vieja volcano toward the mainland and jeopardized the island's economically crucial banana crops.
Walls of lava, which turn black when exposed to the air, have advanced slowly westward since Sunday, engulfing everything in their path, including houses, schools and some banana plantations.
Farmers near the town of Todoque raced to save as much as possible of their crop, piling their trucks high with sacks of the green bananas, on which many of the islanders depend for their livelihood.
"We're just trying to take everything we can," said a farmer who gave his name as Roberto from the window of his pickup.
Some 15% of La Palma's 140 million kilogram annual banana production could be at risk if farmers are unable to access plantations and tend to their crops, Sergio Caceres, manager of producer's association Asprocan, told Reuters.
"There is the main tragedy of destroyed houses -- many of those affected are banana producers or employees -- but their livelihood is further down the hill," he said. "Some farms have already been covered."