Volcanic eruption strength wanes on La Palma

by Lorraine Williamson
volcanic strength is less
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LA PALMA – The volcanic eruption on La Palma is diminishing in strength every day. So say volcanologists following the Cumbre Vieja since its first eruption on September 19. Furthermore, the decline in sulfur dioxide levels and the interim termors are indications that the worst is over.

The Spanish news site EfeVerde.com writes that on September 23 a record of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions were measured. This was more than 50,000 tons. On Saturday, November 13, emissions were between 2,000 and 4,000 tons of SO2. According to scientists and volcanologists, sulfur dioxide emissions are decreasing. And furthermore, the intermediate seismicity at the surface is also showing a stable and decreasing trend. 

Lava does not destroy new areas on La Palma 

According to technical director Miguel Ángel Morcuende of the Pevolca scientific committee, the lava is currently continuing to flow in the same direction. This means that the current lava delta has no branches and the lava can no longer destroy new areas. 

nederlandse orthopeed

Air quality increasingly favourable 

Carbon dioxide emissions on Saturday, November 13, amounted to between 1,800 and 2,000 tons. The air quality has remained at a reasonable to good level. All monitoring stations on La Palma registered fairly favorable air quality values last weekend. 

Danger not yet completely gone on Spanish island 

Since less than a week, the removal of ash, among other things, has started, which again results in a deterioration of the air quality. However, this is temporary and often localised. Entering the area – for clean-up work or because people want to collect personal belongings – is not without danger, as was proven a few days ago when a man died when he returned to his home. 

Status La Palma to date 

According to land registry records, the lava has destroyed 1,019.79 hectares of land to date. And, the lava flows have also completely destroyed 1,460 buildings, including 1,181 homes, 159 farms, 67 industrial buildings, and more than 40 commercial and public buildings. At the moment there are still 481 people who cannot return to their homes and are temporarily staying in hotels in Fuencaliente and Los Llanos de Aridane. 

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