La Palma eruption – A new lava stream has formed towards the north devastating new buildings

by Deborah Cater
La Palma eruption

The La Palma volcano has again surprised us. It seemed to have stabilised in the last hours, but the volcano was roaring loudly again this morning causing the appearance of a new flow. This time it is on the north side of the volcano’s slope.

Since its eruption, all the lava flowed west, until today. The lava from this new stream flows at high speed and has already reached the La Laguna industrial estate, destroying several industrial buildings.

Scientists believed the volcano had entered a stable phase.

Authorities rule out new evacuations

The authorities and emergency teams of La Palma ruled out new evacuations after part of the cone of the volcano collapsed this morning. A new lava flow emerged on the north side of the volcano.

The lava from the new flow runs along the north side of the volcano’s slope towards an area that was in the exclusion perimeter; experts had considered a flow could occur on that side of the volcano. That is why evacuations will not take place, although the new lava flowing at high speed is already destroying several industrial buildings in the La Laguna industrial estate.

West side – explosions and high waves possible

Scientists warn that if the advance continues to greater depths in the sea of ​​the lava delta on the west side, a collapse of its front could occur. That would be accompanied by the sudden release of gases, with hydromagmatic explosions and waves.

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The spokeswoman for the scientific committee of the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca), María José Blanco, pointed out on Friday that this situation could occur because the fajana has reached the limit of the island platform. Therefore, it is foreseeable that it will continue its advance.

Blanco added the weather conditions are unfavourable for air quality, although the forecast is that it will improve as of today. In fact, the ash and sulphur dioxide plume that spreads from the volcano is affecting the operation of the La Palma and Tenerife North airports.

Volcanic ash affects air traffic across Canary Islands

The ash cloud spread to Tenerife and interrupted operations at the Los Rodeos airport, thus affecting the air traffic of all the Canary Islands.

On Thursday, the airlines gave up operating in Tenerife North due to the presence of ash. This despite the fact AENA kept the runways operational and diverted their flights to Tenerife South.

There was an improvement early Friday afternoon, when the airline Binter resumed its inter-island flights in Tenerife North.  

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