The lava flows into the sea on La Palma in Spain's Canary Islands. / EFE

Video | La Palma volcano lava flow finally reaches the ocean

The feared toxic gas, produced as the molten lava reacts with the salt water, is being blown out to sea, and away from population areas by the wind

JUAN CANO / ANTONIO PANIAGUA

The much-anticipated arrival of the La Palma volcano flow to the sea has already formed a toxic cloud of gases and hydrochloric acid over the area. But the good news is that the wind is blowing it away from the coastal towns and pushing it out to sea.

However, Rubén Fernández of Pevolca, the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan, has confirmed that the preventive measures with the lockdown of the four neighbourhoods of Tazacorte closest to the point of entry of the lava to the sea.

A group of marine geoscientists from the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, which is following the advance of the lava, has said that "an impressive deposit of more than 50 metres in height has being generated" which continues to grow.

The southern stream of the Cumbre Vieja lava flow reached the coast at 11pm (local time) on Tuesday night. And it did so from the cliff of the Perdido beach, which has now been buried under a magma structure that will eventually solidify and create a new coastline.

Experts on the island have said that it is still too early to assess the effects of the lava flow on the marine environment and its species.