La Palma volcano: change in wind direction could send ash clouds to La Gomera and Tenerife

by Deborah Cater
Volcano view from Landsat

A change in the direction of the wind will cause the ash cloud of the La Palma volcano to move southeast towards La Gomera and Tenerife in the coming days, explained the director of the National Geographic Institute (IGN) in the Canary Islands.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano returned to activity this Monday after a brief respite. It had stopped emitting lava, smoke and ash.

Confinement order for 4 neighbourhoods

Despite the fact the advance of the lava tongues has slowed down in recent hours, the direction of the Canary Islands Volcanic Risk Prevention Plan, Pevolca, has ordered the confinement of some 300 people. They are in four neighborhood of the Tazacorte municipality: San Borondón , Marina Alta, Marina Baja and La Condesa.

Read: Lava flows approach the ocean

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Sulphur plumes track across Mediterranean

The World Meteorological Organization tweeted an image earlier of the tracking of sulphur dioxide from the La Palma eruption. It can be seen moving across the top of North Africa, the straits of Gibraltar and through the Mediterranean.

Sulphur plume tweet

However, there is little cause for concern on the ground.

As Mark Parrington, Senior Scientist at the ECMWF Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, comments: “The impacts of the SOreleased by Cumbre Vieja on weather and air quality at the surface are most likely very small. Most of the emitted SO2 is much higher up in the atmosphere, especially as you get further away from the source, and might just be visible as a light haze up in the sky.”

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