Large crack observed in active volcano on La Palma

by Lorraine Williamson
large volcano crack -

LA PALMA – A significantly large crack has been visible in the top of the active crater of the Cumbre Vieja volcano group since last Sunday afternoon. This is so large, it is still unclear whether there is a danger of collapse, reports the newspaper La Razon. 

The Spanish Institute of Geology and Mining (IGME) reported the crack in the crater. However, experts do not yet know what caused the crack. And, therefore, cannot say anything about how it will affect the further course of the eruption. Furthermore, the crater has been active for 80 days now. 

No new evacuations 

It is important to know that pieces of the top have come down several times and that this is a normal phenomenon during a volcanic eruption. The lava already flows from several cracks in the crater than just the original opening. Therefore, additional measures to protect residents are not considered necessary by the security services. 

The lava flow has reached the border between the municipalities of Tazacorte and Los Llanos de Aridane and from there has joined the already existing lava towards the delta into the sea. For the past few days, lava has been flowing not only from the top, but also from lower parts of the crater. The lava flows move in a southerly and westerly direction. In a westerly direction, the lava flows through untouched territory, close to the cliff near Las Hoyas. 

The area devastated by the lava is now estimated at 1,155 hectares. This is 9 hectares more than was released the day before. From information obtained from satellite Copernicus, 2,897 structures have already been damaged, of which 2,771 have been completely destroyed. 


The National Geographic Institute (IGN) measured 14 earthquakes on La Palma on Monday morning. The largest, at 8.30 am, had a magnitude of 3.5 on the Richter scale and occurred in the municipality of Fuencaliente at a depth of about 14 kilometers. 11 of the 14 earthquakes occurred in this municipality. One earthquake occurred in Mazo and a last in El Paso. 


In 2017, the British tabloid Daily Star speculated about a possible mega-tsunami as a result of a volcanic eruption on La Palma. According to geologists, the island is so unstable, one of the flanks of a volcano could collapse into the sea. This could create a tsunami that could even reach the east coast of the United States. 

However, there is no indication the current rift in Cumbre Vieja’s active crater will lead to such a doomsday scenario. 

Related: The end of the eruption is still not in sight.

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