Biggest earthquake so far on La Palma since the start of the volcanic eruption

by Lorraine Williamson
biggest earthquake yet

SANTA CRUZ DE LA PALMA – An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.8 on the Richter scale was registered on La Palma on Tuesday evening. It is therefore the biggest earthquake since the start of the volcanic eruption more than a month ago. 

According to data from the National Geographic Institute, the epicentre was located at a depth of 39 kilometres. Earth has been shaking since well before the volcano erupted on September 19, alternating strong and slight tremors. According to experts, this major quake that occurred southwest of the municipality of Villa de Mazo indicates the volcano is far from extinguishing. 

Biggest earthquake felt in many places

At 10.48 pm local time (11.48 pm in mainland Spain), the strong earthquake was felt in many places in La Palma. It was even felt in some parts of La Gomera and Tenerife, such as Icod de Los Vinos or El Ortigal, in La Laguna. The highest magnitude to date was 4.5, also at Villa de Mazo on the 19th. 

According to scientists, these earthquakes, which are detected more than 30 kilometres from the surface, could mean that the volcano at that depth feeds on a magma pocket, from which material constantly enters and exits. The earthquakes throughout the eruption process are frequent and have already been repeated during the last volcanic eruption that the Canary Islands experienced, that of the submarine volcano Tagoro, in El Hierro. 

In the first hours of Wednesday, another 18 earthquakes were registered on La Palma. This included one with a magnitude of 3.4. It occurred in the municipality of Fuencaliente, at 02.54 am and 12 kilometres deep. 

Seismic movements

Of the 18 seismic movements that have occurred since 00:00 on Wednesday, 12 occurred in Fuencaliente and 6 in Mazo. And from this, a total of 6 had a magnitude of 3 or higher. The depths at which the last seismic movements on La Palma occurred were at 9 to 40 kilometres. 

Residents all over the island could feel the quake. However, some of them didn’t see any more movement than on other occasions. Whereas other residents told Spanish media that it was the strongest they’ve felt so far. 

Latest news about volcanic eruption La Palma 

The Cumbre Vieja volcano continues to eject magma in patterns similar to the previous days. A month since the eruption, the lava flows continue to flow north. But also, the one south of La Laguna mountain is only 100 metres from the sea. That proximity will lead to new detentions in San Borondón, La Condesa, Marina Alta, Marina Baja and the Tazacorte municipality. 

Meanwhile, one of the streams reached the inhabited part of La Laguna, in Los Llanos de Aridane, early this Wednesday. Here the lava threatens a gas station whose fuel tanks have been emptied weeks ago and is on its way to a banana packaging company. A stream further north threatens the school in La Laguna and a little further on the current path the church and the square that forms the nerve centre of the neighbourhood. Which, by the way, has been completely evicted for a week. 

Meanwhile, lava from the crater has already washed away 779.89 hectares. And, furthermore, the maximum width between the two ends of the flows remains at about 2,900 metres. 


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