Monday, August 8

The lava flow further south of the La Palma volcano reaches a “significant” speed in the last hours and engulfs unaffected surface

The La Palma volcano maintains the eruptive conditions of these days this Saturday. However, there is a wash that in the last hours is emerging among the rest, this is the one that is located further south (3, according to the chronology of the Military Emergency Unit), which has made important progress, but not direction south, but towards the coast. The technical director of the Volcanic Emergency Plan of the Canary Islands (Pevolca), Miguel Ángel Morcuende, explained at a press conference that this is because, what was previously a narrow language, in the last hours it has “spread” over the wash 9, the one right above this. However, “he has not been able to ride it, because the 9 is taller, so he has stuck to it.”

In this sense, wash 3 has been filling in space next to 9 towards the coast, since on the way it is encountering troughs that drive it to take that direction.

According to measurements made by experts at 12 noon this Saturday, this not so small tongue of lava is located about 400 meters in a straight line from the marine area. Morcuende has indicated that it is unlikely that the lava blanket reaches the sea, “because there is a flatter area where it may possibly spread,” he said, despite the fact that it has reached an “important” speed during the night and has traveled around 1,400 meters in just 24 hours.

This new course does not cause the experts to remove the focus from the Las Norias area. “Right now this laundry is fed by the outlet of the cone itself, if the opening of this continues to be in the same conditions we will have more input and a swelling of the laundry that can affect Las Norias”, has warned the Pevolca technician .

Affected surface

Morcuende has also referred to the area affected by the volcano’s lava, which begins to be “important” when it exceeds 963.73 hectares, and has added that, according to data from the Copernicus satellites, 2,532 buildings / constructions have been destroyed. , and 149 are at risk.


The director of the National Geographic Institute (IGN) in the Canary Islands and spokesperson for the Scientific Committee of (Pevolca), María José Blanco, has also referred to the most powerful earthquake since the beginning of the seismic swarm caused by the volcano, the one in the morning of this Saturday, which reached a magnitude of 5.0 mbLg and was felt in La Palma with an intensity IV-V and throughout the western province. Seismicity, however, continues to occur at medium and high depths (10-15 kilometers and more than 20 kilometers).

This behavior of the volcano continues to make it likely that frequent earthquakes will occur that can be felt by the population, even that intensities of VI can be reached, Blanco has acknowledged.

“Intense” audible explosions

The Cumbre Vieja volcano recorded this Friday at noon and for several hours an episode of audible explosions of “great intensity”, which produced a considerable emission of ash that covered the entire Aridane Valley, as reported by Blanco, who stated that this episode was put to be caused by a “process of intensification of the degassing”.

Air quality

Regarding air quality, Morcuende has stated that sulfur dioxide reaches about 4,000 meters high in the volcano’s plume and is in slight descent, and the prevailing winds are from the southeast and east, which has the effect of ” only advantage “that there will be no operational problems at the island’s airport. If the wind were only from the east, it could lower the base of the thermal immersion, which could cause problems with pollutants, but it is not in that situation.

In the low areas of this Friday and Saturday, sulfur dioxide levels have not been exceeded, “which is good news”, and neither have those of particles of less than ten microns, except in the municipality of Los Llanos de Aridane in the last case. The expert has attributed this fact to the fact that a lot of ash has fallen in Los Llanos de Aridane and there is also a lot of traffic, and also with the cleaning operations ash has risen, so he recommends using FFP2 masks and people with a predisposition to suffer allergies wearing glasses.