The director in the Canary Islands of the National Geographic Institute (IGN), María José Blanco, revealed this Tuesday, during the press conference after the scientific committee of the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca), that experts have detected the opening of a fissure area about 100 meters northeast of the main cone of the volcano with emission of gases and high temperature soil that, in principle, has no eruptive character.
Housing and employment make up most of the Spanish Government’s reconstruction plan for La Palma
Likewise, he explained that the seismicity, geochemistry and deformation data suggest that the end of the eruption of the La Palma volcano, which is in the “mature” phase, is not near, so that we must prepare “to spend many days” , has stated.
He has also indicated that the weather forecast indicates that this Wednesday afternoon the winds will turn the column of ash and gases from the plume towards the northeast slope of the island, which could affect the operation of the La Palma airport.
For his part, the technical director of Pevolca, Miguel Ángel Morcuende, has reported that so far the wash has destroyed 726 buildings, of which 605 are homes; 58, buildings for agricultural use, and 30, for industrial use, according to the Cadastre data registered until the afternoon of this Monday.
Morcuende explained that these figures differ from those recorded by the Copernicus satellite, since it detects any point that may be a building, which is misleading “because in the end it may be a pergola, a precarious chicken coop, an abandoned haystack, among other constructions “.
Specifically, the latest data provided by Copernicus speak of 1,154 buildings affected by the eruption, of which 1,046 would have been destroyed by lava and 108 would be damaged or at risk of collapse.
The laundry affects 6.74 hectares more than in the previous day
The latest measurements point to 420 hectares affected by lava, an increase of 6.74 compared to the day before, in a perimeter of 36.24 kilometers and a maximum width of 1,250 meters.
The lava delta that has entered the sea for now occupies an area of more than 36 hectares and has advanced 540 meters from the coastline.
The air quality on the island has improved compared to previous days thanks to the entry of trade winds. While the marine plume of water vapor and hydrochloric acid that occurs in the contact of the lava with the sea remains in a reduced area near the delta.
Seismicity is increasing in terms of number of episodes and magnitude, and has also been more felt by the population, especially in Fuencaliente and Villa de Mazo, but it remains at average depths of ten or more kilometers.
Daily sulfur dioxide emissions were 1,200 tons on Monday, with a cumulative 250,000 tons since the eruption began, and the volume of magma expelled could be at 45 million cubic meters.
A “safe” island for visitors
So far, the Fuencaliente hotel has housed 209 of the approximately 6,000 evacuees and 553 people work in the emergency operation, explained Morcuende, who has insisted that La Palma is a safe island for all visitors and that only on 8 % of its surface is affected by the volcano.