The river of lava that began to descend from the two eruptive mouths opened at dawn on Friday about 600 meters from the main cone has entered lateral contact with the main stream this Saturday, which runs towards the sea and has created a strip that reaches and at 27.7 hectares. The national responsible for volcanic surveillance of the National Geological Institute (IGN), Carmen López, has specified that it is still unknown if this wash will continue its lateral path or will definitively join the original one, which maintains the same route and a constant flow, without changes. in its extension, until it ends at the lower island created.
The technical director of the Canary Islands Volcanic Risk Prevention Plan (Pevolca), Miguel Ángel Morcuende, explained at the press conference that the lava has broken the last irrigation connection in the area, the El Remo network. On the morning of this Saturday an intense white smoke could be observed in that place that supposed the verification that the lava had come into contact with the water of that network, added the spokesman.
According to Copernicus satellite data, the La Palma eruption had affected 1,005 buildings as of 6:45 p.m. Friday, of which 885 have been destroyed and 105 are damaged or at risk of being destroyed. 201 of the more than 5,500 people who have been evacuated during this volcanic crisis are staying in a hotel in Fuencaliente. The rest have been housed in the homes of friends or relatives. The volcano has also affected the road network in the southern part of the island. In total there are 28.3 kilometers unused.
The Pevolca has lifted the confinements decreed both in the neighborhoods of Tazacorte (this Monday) and in El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane (on Friday). Regarding the worsening of air quality that forced this Friday night to extend this precautionary measure to other population centers, Morcuende explained that it was due to the conjunction of several factors. In the first place, a phenomenon of Saharan affection, of winds coming from the east, which caused a thermal inversion at about 600 meters of altitude that acted as a “cover” and prevented the gases that emanated from the combustion of the greenhouses (and from fertilizers stored in farm rooms), harmful to health, will diffuse into the atmosphere. The low strength of the trade winds and a breeze that blew from the sea to the land also contributed to this effect.
The Pevolca technical director has specified that it was a one-off episode, but that it can be repeated throughout this day, since the weather conditions are similar. Morcuende has clarified that the level of contamination generated by this phenomenon “is not excessive”, which can cause itchy eyes and respiratory discomfort, although it has affected that the effects can be “exacerbated” in people who have weakened immune systems, in children and pregnant women.
As long as this process of affecting winds from the Sahara lasts, this “cover” phenomenon can be reproduced, so the authorities have decided, once the neighborhoods at risk have been deconfined, that the emergency services notify neighbors by public address when it is necessary that they remain in their homes.
(THERE WILL BE EXTENSION)