The island of La Palma has begun on the 26th day of the eruption in Cumbre Vieja with new evacuations of residents in the municipality of Los Llanos and a 4.5 mbLg earthquake located in Villa de Mazo.
The La Palma volcano lashes out at night and takes advantage of the island’s vulnerability
The direction of the Volcanic Emergency Plan of the Canary Islands (Pevolca) has ordered during the morning of this Thursday the evacuation of more areas after the advance of the lava flow that runs further to the northwest and due to its proximity to the boundary zone of the already evacuated perimeter .
Specifically, the area included in the LP-215 (road from La Laguna to Tazacorte) has been evacuated, from the limit with the municipality of Tazacorte indicated on the road, to the junction with the LP-213 (road to Puerto Naos) .
The evacuation affects, according to the census, about 300 people who, until 5:00 p.m., must vacate the homes with their belongings and pets and go to the meeting point located in the Campo de Lucha Camino León de los Llanos de Aridane. Those people who are unable to collect their belongings during the day will be allowed in subsequent days, gradually and accompanied, as long as security conditions allow it, explains Pevolca.
Authorities advise evacuees to close all exterior windows and doors, lower blinds, shut off water, gas and electricity supplies; Also, that they carry their documentation (also that of the house) and medicines for daily use, mobile phone and their charger, flashlight and clothing for several days. Then they go to the established meeting points.
In case of having animals, the evacuation will be carried out following the guidelines of the Animal Action Protocol that will be indicated at the Meeting Point.
These evictions are add to those ordered almost at midnight on Wednesday. Specifically, there were 25 people residing in the area to the south of the Camino de La Cruz Chica at the junction with the Camino Los Campitos, following the Camino Morro Cabrito until reaching the LP-2 highway. These residents also had to leave their homes due to the proximity of the lava flow that runs further northwest and its proximity to the boundary zone of the perimeter already evacuated.
Strong earthquake in Mazo
As for the 4.5 magnitude earthquake, its hypocenter was 37 kilometers deep and was registered at 2:27 am (local time). This is, so far, the largest earthquake recorded since the volcanic catastrophe began on the island, after surpassing another 4.4 earthquake recorded this Wednesday.
The first hours of this day are being very busy, with more than 60 earthquakes since 00:00, eight of them with magnitudes greater than 3 and two above 4.
The activity of the volcano, as the members of the scientific committee of the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca) have insisted in recent days, does not show signs of exhaustion, so it does not seem that the end of the eruption is near yet. The enormous amounts of sulfur dioxide released into the air attest to this, as explained by María José Blanco, director of the National Geographic Institute (IGN) in the Canary Islands and a member of Pevolca.
This seismicity, which occurs mostly at medium and deep levels (between 10 and 30 kilometers), is also normal in this type of strombolian-type eruptions, and, although it is not ruled out that new eruptive mouths may appear in the vicinity of the main cone of the volcano, there is a low probability of this happening.
On the other hand, this Thursday the La Palma Airport continues operating and it is expected to continue like this for the next two days, at least, since the wind conditions are favorable for the dispersion of the ash column, something that is likely to change heading into the weekend,
Also in the last hours, the Copernicus data has been updated, indicating that 1,548 buildings have been destroyed by lava. In addition, the area affected by the runoff is already 680 hectares. At its widest point, the lava reaches 1,700 meters.
Early in the morning, the Cabildo de La Palma has reported that access will be allowed during the day to residents of the evacuated areas to collect belongings and personal items. Access will be controlled and they will be accompanied by security personnel, prior coordination with their town hall. Those who want to pick fruit or water on their farms will also be able to access, provided that time and access have been arranged with their community of irrigators.