Canary Islands Volcano
An aerial view shows a stained area in the sea caused by submarine eruptions on the southern coast of El Hierro in the Canary Islands of Spain on Oct. 13. REUTERS

A new island off the coast of El Hierro in the Canary Islands of Spain is forming as an underwater volcano spews magma 20 meters high.

The lava is being cooled by seawater and solidifying to create the land mass, which is now only 70 meters from the surface.

Seismic activity began in the area on July 17 and was followed by more than 10,000 tremors. Since then, underwater fissures have released an almost continuous flow of sulfurous gases, hot rock, and smoke.

Witnesses say explosions from the underwater volcano sometimes blasted as high as 20 meters above sea level.

Last week, the village of La Restinga was evacuated, and shipping has been banned in the area. The gases being released are also giving off strong sulfurous smells.

People have also reported seeing dead fish floating in the water, which were believed to have been killed by the toxic gas.

The southern tip of El Hierro was hit by a magnitude-4.3 earthquake on Nov. 5 as the volcana began spewing the magma.