New lava flow threatens previously safe areas on La Palma

by Lorraine Williamson
previously safe areas now under threat

LA PALMA – The volcanic eruption on La Palma is not over yet. Last night, there were more than 40 earthquakes and now a new lava flow has formed on which huge boulders flow down. Several villages that were previously safe are now in danger. 

Although experts indicated a week ago the eruption entered a ‘stable phase’, another stronger quake was registered that same afternoon. On Monday morning, lava flows out of the craters at great speed. This time accompanied by huge boulders that are sometimes the size of an entire three-storey house. The spitting out of these large chunks of petrified magma once again increases the destructive power of the volcano. 

Impressive video of a huge boulder sliding down 

The Spanish Geological Institute released this impressive video Monday morning of one of the large chunks sliding down from the volcanic crater together on a flow of lava. Due to the destructive power of the lava flow, 1,281 houses and buildings and a total of 525.77 hectares of land have been destroyed. As far as is known, 132 hectares of crops have been destroyed. 

La Palma airport open but with delays 

Since Thursday, La Palma airport has been closed several times. For the past week, there has been a high concentration of ash clouds in the air. This means air traffic cannot safely take off and land on the island. On Sunday, this ash cloud reached a height of 3.5 kilometres and is expected to continue. 

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Concerns about wind direction and toxic substances 

There are concerns about the rotating wind direction that could lead to the displacement of the ash cloud and the poisonous gas sulfur dioxide. For the time being, the airport is open on Mondays, but Aena does report several delays and does not dare to promise that the airport can remain open all day. The still-active volcano and the changing wind direction could even affect the airport in Tenerife. 

New power threatens previously safe areas on La Palma 

The biggest concern at the moment is the new lava flow that flows northwards, destroying much of the town of Todoque at the time of writing. The new lava flow threatens areas that were previously safe. Access to Tazacorte has been banned since this morning. Residents of La Laguna have packed their belongings in case they need to be evacuated within hours. It remains to be seen whether this new lava flow will join the main flow along the northern side. 

However, if it continues to flow in the same direction, it can reach the sea at a new location and once again expand the existing island. Earlier, another lava flow reached the sea, making the island a lot bigger. 


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