Life-saving drones deliver food to dogs stranded by erupting volcano

·2 min read

Eruptions of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma have destroyed large swaths of the region, leaving vast amounts of lava and ash on the ground since the middle of September. In the past month, one species of island residents had been neglected until recently: the canines.

In the town of Todoque, several malnourished dogs were recently found roaming a walled-in yard that has been covered in ash. Due to the surrounding lava flow, reaching the hungry pups was impossible - until two local companies stepped in with life-saving drones.

The two companies, Ticom Soluciones and Volcanic Life, have used the drones to drop food and water to the dogs since Saturday, and the companies say they will continue to feed the dogs as long as meteorological conditions allow.

On its way to the Atlantic Ocean, the lava has destroyed everything in its path, but the lava has spared a few areas by creating "islands" of land that remain relatively unharmed.

La Palma's councilor of security and emergencies, Nieves Rosa Arroyo, said authorities became aware of the situation of the animals last week and subsequently commissioned the companies to help, according to Newsweek.

In order to fly the drones, visibility must be good enough for the drone pilots to safely drop the packages. High winds could also keep the drones from being able to fly.

AccuWeather meteorologists expect tranquil weather to be in place across the island into at least early next week, so it appears as if the drones will be able to continue delivering food and water to the dogs.

The volcano first began erupting on Sept. 19 and has not shown any signs of stopping. Over 6,000 people have been forced to evacuate, including an additional 300 who were forced to flee their homes early on Thursday, according to Reuters.

Lava has already covered about 1,680 acres (680 hectares) and destroyed 1,548 buildings, said Copernicus Emergency Management Service which provides mapping products based on satellite imagery.

Lava from the eruption has been spilling into the Atlantic Ocean and created nearly 100 acres (40 hectares) of new land.

Earlier in October, the eruption created a phenomenon called gravity wave clouds as it sent a plume of hot gas high into the atmosphere.

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