Monday, August 15

Lava from the La Palma volcano reaches the sea for the third time and new confinements are ordered

The lava that has reached the sea at noon this Monday in the northern part of the coladas, near Tazacorte, is generating a new lava delta or fajana and has forced the confinement of some 3,000 people in their homes, a measure that will continue for at least 24 hours.

Most of the lava from the La Palma volcano flows south of the La Laguna mountain and affects new terrain

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Although sulfur dioxide emissions have marked a minimum since the eruption began, with between 900 and 1,300 tons per day, the wind from the west and southwest has caused air quality problems in the municipalities to the east, mainly Santa Cruz de La Palma, Breña Alta and Breña Baja.

That is why the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca) has extended to these populations the recommendations that were applied to the population of the Aridane Valley since the beginning of the eruption: use of FFP2 masks due to the presence of particles smaller than ten microns and that the most sensitive population takes to the streets as little as possible.

The orientation of the cloud of gases and ash from the volcano towards the east keeps the La Palma airport inoperative and given the weather forecast, it is expected that the incidents in aeronautical operations will continue in the next 24 to 48 hours, according to what has been stated in the wheel of press the spokesmen of Pevolca, Carmen López and Miguel Ángel Morcuende.

The seismicity generated by the eruption remains as in previous days, with an earthquake of magnitude 4.8 at 36 kilometers deep and with intensity IV as the maximum exponent, and there are no news regarding deformation or tremor, which remain stable.

Pevolca’s scientific spokesperson, Carmen López, said that it is still too early to draw conclusions about the decrease in the emission of sulfur dioxide, one of the indicators that scientists use to anticipate the evolution of the eruption, and stressed that this parameter registers great variability.

That is why it will be necessary to wait for the measurements in the next few days to assess the evolution of sulfur dioxide, which in any case has maintained a downward trend since September 23.

Miguel Ángel Morcuende explained that the Military Emergency Unit (UME) is making gas measurements in the area where stream number seven has reached the sea this noon, between the mountains of Todoque and La Laguna, closer to the latter.

“As soon as we have an exhaustive knowledge of the gases that exist and the distance to which they spread, we can lift or not the home confinement,” a decision that will probably be made on Tuesday, after 24 hours, Morcuende explained. He pointed out that the confinement does not affect the Port of Tazacorte, but rather the neighborhood of San Borondón, the Villa de Tazacorte and the area east of the town. He recognized that the Pevolca did not expect the lava to reach the sea so soon through this area.

It is “a new surprise” of this volcano, which is attributed to the new contributions after the overflows registered in the cone in recent days since the magma has flowed over the previous flows and through lava tubes, without absorbing new material as occurs when it occupies new territory.

Although almost all the energy circulates through lavage seven, the one that has just reached the sea, the lava also advances through the lava flows located further south, one, two and nine, which now practically form one.

Hectares razed

This advance of the lava has brought the total occupied surface to 1,060.22 hectares, seven hectares more than the day before, and the width between flows is 3,300 meters, a hundred meters more.

The latest estimates of the cadastre on the affectation of the lava point to 1,481 buildings affected, of which 1,193 are residential, 159 agricultural, 67 industrial, 34 leisure and hotel and 28 other uses.

The calculation of the Copernicus satellite system places the affected buildings at 2,746, of which 2,651 have been destroyed.

In the two hotels arranged in Fuencaliente and Los Llanos de Aridane to house evacuees there are 503 people and 43 dependents remain in socio-sanitary residences.