The technical director of Pevolca, Miguel Morcuende, explained this Tuesday early that the lava flow that gushes from the La Palma volcano is “quite stopped”. The expert has also explained in the microphones of Canarias Radio that said wash is located 1,000 meters from the coast of Tazacorte at the moment.
An immense tide of lava rises again from the new volcano of La Palma
“The rearrangement of the lava does not imply the opening of a new emitting center and the logical thing is that it continues to evacuate lava through the open fissures. Although this volcano surprises us every day ”, he declared.
The volcano entered a new phase this Monday in which it again generates strong strombolian-type explosions and has formed a large lava flow that descends from its main cone along the path opened by the previous ones, after a day in which it seemed to stop suddenly and his activity ceased for hours.
Not counting the large amount of lava that has been expelling since tonight, this eruption had already exceeded in just seven days the last one that occurred on La Palma, that of Teneguía in 1971: 46.3 million of the new volcano has emerged in a week. cubic meters of materials, while the Teneguía moved 43 million in 24 days, and it has done so after moving rapidly this Sunday through the town of Todoque, razing new buildings, including the church, and reaching the mountain of this neighborhood of Los Llanos de Aridane, the last obstacle that remains to be overcome until reaching the sea.
As a precautionary measure, in the event of an eventual emanation of hydrochloric acid due to the reaction of the incandescent material with sea water, which at most would suppose mild affections in the bronchi and eyes, the confinement of the four population centers of Tazacorte closest to the place is maintained. where the lava predictably falls into the sea. It affects about 300 people.
The coladas affect more than 230 hectares
At the lower levels of the atmosphere, the breeze regime will be maintained in the next few hours, but at higher levels the direction of the winds towards the southeast can change so that emissions of ash and sulfur dioxide can reach the area. between La Palma, La Gomera and Tenerife.
According to the latest measurements from the Copernicus terrestrial observation satellite system, lava, which in some sections can reach a thickness of up to 50 meters, has affected 513 homes and an area of 237.5 hectares, 27.5 more in just 24 hours.
The area covered by the volcano’s ashes has extended to 1,507 hectares (193 more than the last estimate) and 18.9 kilometers of roads have been destroyed by the advance of the lava flows.
The number of people evacuated from their homes stands at about 5,600, after the approximately 200 residents evacuated on Friday due to the intensification of the eruptions could return to their homes on Sunday.
Flights are still canceled this Tuesday
La Palma airport has not operated normally for five days in a row due to the ash cloud produced by the volcano. This Tuesday the planned national and international flights have been canceled, likewise, Binter has announced that it is keeping all flights to the island paralyzed, at least, until 1:00 p.m.
The calm was just a “discontinuity”
The temporary cessation of the volcano’s activity does not mean that the explosions cannot suddenly return, the Canary Islands director of the National Geographic Institute in the Canary Islands, María José Blanco, had warned. And so it has happened.
Those hours of calm coincided with a drop in the tremor signal and a displacement of the seismic swarm towards the south of the island, at depths of about 10 kilometers, in a location similar to the movements that were detected a week before the eruption. near Fuencaliente, but at the moment this does not allow us to anticipate anything certain about the evolution.
This behavior of the volcano may be due to a change in the conduit that feeds it that leads to a decrease in gas content and a lower contribution of the available material, the expert commented.
It is not the first time in the history of the Canary Islands that a volcano pauses and erupts again days later, even at a further point. The closest precedent is precisely that of the San Juan volcano, also on La Palma, in 1949.
The Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcan) also argued that it was “too early” to know if the volcano had stopped.
To reach this conclusion, he pointed out, in addition to the absence of eruptive activity for “a sufficient number of days”, null values would also have to be registered in the emission of sulfur dioxide, which after water vapor and carbon dioxide is the most abundant gas among those released from magma.
Regarding seismicity, Involcan indicates the possibility that small-magnitude earthquakes continue to be recorded until “years after” the completion of the eruption.