The explosive activity of the La Palma volcano has increased since the afternoon of this Saturday, according to Carmen López, the director of the Central Geophysical Observatory of the National Geographic Institute (IGN). This increase, yes, has not yet reached the levels of explosiveness that were registered a little less than a week and a half ago, when the authorities had to urgently evacuate several population centers for fear that the volcanic cone would collapse.
According to López at the press conference after the Scientific Committee of the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (PEVOLCA), an increase in the volcanic tremor has also been noted in the last hours, that is, the vibrations related to the volcano. “The activity is more intense, but it has not reached that of a week and a half ago, when it stopped and then it dropped sharply.” The scientist has clarified that these alternations are normal in strombolian eruptions, which is currently affecting the island of La Palma.
The director of the PEVOLCA Technical Committee, Miguel Ángel Morcuende, has stressed that the air quality in the municipalities near the eruption, Los Llanos de Aridane, El Paso and Tazacorte, is good and does not represent any risk to the population. Morcuende has clarified that this morning several scientists who worked in the vicinity of the wash taking samples had to be evicted because the air quality in those spaces, he says, was not the best. That region, even so, is within the ratio of the exclusion zone, so it has not affected any group of neighbors.
“There have not been any incidents of power outages or telecommunications, we continue to monitor the laundry, we are monitoring them. The strip that has been created in the sea has an area of 28 hectares,” explained Morcuende.
On the other hand, López has added that the new stream, the one that comes out of the last eruptive mouth that opened this Saturday, continues to the west, parallel to the main magma river, but a lower emission rate has been observed in the last hours.
Volcanic bombs have also been observed, a type of explosion that emits large pyroclasts around the volcanic cone, which, as López explained, continues with a fumarolic field on the northwest flank, that is, an area of the volcano that only emits gases, which could destabilize the upper part of the cone, “which repeatedly changes due to reconfiguration processes.”
Furthermore, SO2 emissions have not stopped. And they have not decreased in quantity either, as they continue to stand at 3,000 tons per day. “The emission of gases is becoming richer in sulfur and poor in carbon, reflecting the effusion of more degassed magma from a shallow point.”