Volcano on La Palma can be active for months

by Lorraine Williamson
La Palma volcano still active - https://twitter.com/efadi_LP/status/1469059741334884369/photo/1

SANTA CRUZ DE LA PALMA – The eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, on the Canary Island of La Palma, is still active on its 82nd day this Friday. Although, several parameters, such as seismicity and vibrations, could indicate a decrease in activity. 

However, the data needs to be consolidated before talking about an imminent end of the emergency, according to scientists. Experts say, according to RTVE news, that even if the lava’s release stops, the degassing of the volcanic base and lava flows could take months. This is what Pevolca Scientific Committee spokesperson María José Blanco said in the latest report. 

Since midnight, four earthquakes have been registered in the area of ​​Fuencaliente. The maximum power was 3 with a depth of 15 kilometres. At 7.04 am, another earthquake was registered, the largest in recent hours (3.4), according to data from the National Geographic Institute. The epicentre was at a great depth (39 kilometres) in the Fuencaliente area. 

Collapse part of crater 

Cracks visible in the top of the volcano’s active crater since Sunday afternoon led to a partial collapse. Fissures had formed in the cone that had formed in the north-eastern sector of the main part of the crater. Part of this eventually collapsed into the crater, with no further consequences for the stability of the whole. 

Residents with mixed feelings return to their homes 

Residents evacuated from two areas of Los Llanos de Aridane have been able to return to their homes. These are Calle Nicolás Brito País, and Las Martelas de Abajo. The Emergency Directorate made the decision after the nearest lava flow, more to the northwest came to a standstill. 

Isabel Arrocha is from one of the 30 families in the municipality of Los Llanos de Aridane returning home. They had been evacuated for over a month and a half due to the volcano’s eruption. A difficult situation that evokes mixed feelings, as she acknowledged in the programme Las Mañanas de RNE. It is in fact the second house from which, forced by the authorities, they had to leave with ‘a few items of clothing and memories’. 

Fajana continues to grow 

Meanwhile, thanks to the continuous activity of the volcano, the flows continue to feed the lava delta or fajana that is forming on the coast. Therefore, the new land now has a total area of ​​48 hectares. According to the latest Pevolca update, the surface of the lava flows together reaches 1,184 hectares. 

The CSIC Institute of Geosciences in Barcelona reports, based on data from Pevolca, that the most active flow is the one that falls down on the low part of the island formed by the volcano in the Las Hoyas area. 

2,881 buildings completely destroyed 

A total of 3,039 buildings have been affected since the volcanic activity began on September 19, of which 2,881 were completely destroyed. This is evidenced by data from the Copernicus satellite collected by the Pevolca Plan. 


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