Serious concerns about air quality and La Palma volcanic eruption again

by Lorraine Williamson
toxic air quality

LA PALMA – Experts have been warning for a few days about the supply of Sahara dust that will significantly worsen the air quality on La Palma. Also, a true tsunami of lava on Thursday caused a more intense lava flow that flows in a northwesterly direction. 

Dust clouds from the Sahara will arrive on La Palma from Friday. As a result, the polluted cloud above the volcano will become even larger and more intense throughout Friday. Furthermore, experts expect Sunday to be the worst day with the highest concentration of toxic air particles. 

Toxic mix of polluted substances over La Palma 

The Sahara dust and the existing emissions of gases from the Cumbre Vieja are creating a toxic mix of nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide this weekend. Therefore, this could create a very unfavourable situation, especially for people with respiratory diseases. 

Heaviest concentration of toxic substances on Sunday 

One of Mediaset’s meteorologists says that according to current measurements, the highest concentration of toxic substances will peak on Sunday. Thereafter, it will get a little better every day. Especially from Thursday, October 21, when the supply of air from the North Atlantic causes the dilution of the toxic dust cloud over La Palma. 

Cogesa Expats

More evacuations and lockdowns possible

Pevolca, the agency that oversees evacuations in connection with the volcanic eruption, does not rule out the possibility that more people will be asked to stay indoors in the coming hours and days. When this is not possible, Pevolca recommends wearing an FFP2 face mask. On Thursday evening, more than 1,200 residents of a neighborhood in La Laguna were evacuated. 

Seismic activity is increasing 

More seismic activity was observed again during the night from Thursday to Friday. Friday morning another stronger earthquake was registered with 4.5 on the Richter scale. 

The Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcan) wrote on Twitter Friday morning that the flooding of the largest cone of the volcano on Thursday caused a tsunami of lava. Currently, there are two lava flows; the original one flowing south of the Todoque mountain with 3 lava tongues. This has since decreased in intensity. 

However, it´s the second stream that currently worries experts the most. It is located north of the original flow and flows in a northwesterly direction with two lava tongues where the lava is currently more viscous and is still destroying everything on its way down. 

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