After 10 days of destroying hundreds of homes and forcing thousands to flee, the Canary Islands volcano’s lava has reached the sea.

Experts warned that steam could contain toxic gasses. However, columns of steam rose as the bright red molten rock fell into the Atlantic Ocean at 11:11 p.m. Tuesday.

Authorities evacuated the area for several days while they waited for the eruption of lava to reach the water. Its slow progress was impeded by the erratic flows and terrain changes. To prevent people from inhaling gases, authorities set up a perimeter of security measuring 3.5 km (2.1 miles). Residents in the greater area were asked to stay indoors and keep their windows closed.

Lava flows from La Palma’s Sept. 19 eruption have destroyed at most 589 buildings. These were mostly homes on the island’s southwest side, which were located on a slope beneath the volcano.

Thanks to the prompt evacuation of more than 6,000 people within the first hour after the eruption, no deaths or serious injuries were reported.

The lava just before it fell down a cliff to the sea at Los Guirres, a local point, rolled over the coast highway, cutting off all access to the island’s last road.

La Palma is home to approximately 85,000 people. It’s part of the volcanic Canary Islands archipelago off northwest Africa. It measures approximately 35 km (22 miles) in length and is 20 kilometers (12 miles wide) at its widest point.

Santa Cruz was the capital of the island. Cleaning crews removed ash from the city, while geologists registered more earthquakes that had been rumbling under the volcano for several weeks.

Due to an enormous ash cloud, Spain’s National Geographic Institute stated that the airport in La Palma was closed.

Laura Garces, director of ENAIRE Spain’s air navigation authority, stated that she doesn’t see any problems for major airports in the archipelago.

Experts believe it is impossible to predict how long the eruption will continue. The archipelago has seen previous eruptions that lasted for weeks or even months.