LA PALMA – The Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma entered its 40th day of eruption on Friday. The volcano is still very active and ejects large quantities of lava. Then it makes its way to the sea or destroys houses.
The lava flows are increasing in height. One of the lava flows, number seven, is 86 metres from the sea, while another, number three, has caused damage to buildings – which previously seemed spared – in the Las Manchas area.
If the lava reaches the ocean, it could lead to dangerous chemical explosions. Meanwhile, the high levels of sulphur dioxide in the air are worrying. Especially in the municipalities closest to the eruption. The Spanish radio and TV channel RTVE reports that the lava has already affected 911 hectares of the island. And that 2,183 buildings have also been destroyed. The data comes from the European Copernicus programme. More than 7,000 people have been evacuated as a precaution.
The IGN National Geological Institute reports a 10 cm rise in height in the vicinity of the volcano. The high emission of sulphur dioxide (16,350 tonnes according to the latest measurement) indicates that the end is not yet in sight. Scientists are monitoring the progress of lava flows to the west.
Dozens of earthquakes every day
The island continues to experience dozens of earthquakes every day; the latest with a magnitude of more than 4 was recorded on Wednesday with the epicentre in Villa de Mazo. The largest earthquake since this volcanic crisis began, with a magnitude of 4.9 and an intensity of IV (out of a maximum of XII), which was felt widely across La Palma, took place last weekend.
The airline Binter announced late on Wednesday that it would suspend flights to La Palma from 6.30 pm on Sunday, after the start of wintertime, because it is dark then and good visibility is not guaranteed due to the ash plume from the volcano.
Less than two months to go before the Christmas lottery draw and the 19921, the date on which the eruption began, is already sold out on La Palma.
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