Wednesday, August 17

The lava is less than a kilometer from the coast of La Palma

The lava flow that emerges from the volcanic eruption of La Palma “is likely” to reach the coast, from which it is about 800 or 1,000 meters in a straight line, but there is no certainty about it, since it has occurred a slowdown in the speed of the magmatic material, which borders the Todoque mountain.

Four neighborhoods on the coast of La Palma are confined in anticipation of the lava reaching the sea in the next few hours

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The technical director of the Volcanic Risk Prevention Plan, Pevolca, Miguel Ángel Morcuende, has stated at a press conference, together with the director of the National Geographic Institute in the Canary Islands, María José Blanco, that the laundry that this Sunday was coming down rapidly through the north of the eruptive cone and that advanced on Todoque has been divided into two “fingers”.

One of those fingers has encountered a slope and it is foreseeable that it will end up joining the other, which moves towards the south of the Todoque mountain.

“The pouring is very slow,” said Morcuende, who has specified that despite this, the confinement of the four population centers of Tazacorte closest to the place where the lava is expected to fall into the sea continues, in anticipation of any eventual emanation of hydrochloric acid, which in any case would suppose slight affections given the distance of more than 3.5 kilometers to which the nearest houses are.

The technical director of Pevolca has assured that the behavior of the volcano continues to be that of a strombolian fissure type, with continuities and discontinuities in its activity.

Prohibitions to navigate in the area

The General Directorate of the Merchant Marine has modified the no-navigation zone one mile further north. Maritime Rescue also prohibits the passage of any boat within a distance of two miles from the coast, while security and emergency personnel on land maintain an exclusion radius of 2 kilometers.

The scientific committee of the Special Plan for Protection against Volcanic Risk of the Canary Islands (Pevolca) recommended establishing said perimeters because “at the moment when lava flows reach the coast, interaction with the ocean can generate explosions, gas emanations and detachment of the lava front. ”Likewise, in the early morning the confinement of four neighborhoods of Tazacorte was ordered: San Borondón, Marina Alta, Marina Baja and La Condesa, before the imminent arrival of the lava to the sea.

The mayor of this palm tree town, Juan Miguel Rodríguez, has declared on Canary Television that it is “difficult to predict the time it will reach the sea” and has communicated that, if it arrives, several neighborhoods would be totally isolated. “I ask the neighbors for patience and those who are in confinement, to take the appropriate security measures.”

The Pevolca insists on not approaching the washes due to the risk of being exposed to the gases emitted, given the risk of possible landslides and high temperatures; It also highlights the importance of reinforcing information to the population so that they can take self-protection measures against the danger posed by the emission of ashes from the eruptive centers.

The President of the Government of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, assured this Monday that the forecast is for the lava to arrive “imminently” on the island’s coast after it surpassed the core of the Todoque neighborhood on Sunday afternoon.

Torres has indicated that he is currently in contact with the security services, pointing out that there are drones that are already in operation to observe the path of the lava, adding that if it “does not stop, the predictable thing is that it will end up in the sea. “like those that have occurred on the island of La Palma so far.

“The forecast is that it can reach the sea and that it be soon. A difficult moment but it is clear that what we have to try is that as soon as possible we know that this lava has a circuit, a way to get there,” he added in statements to the Ser string.

He added that it is still in a moment of “maximum concern”, in which it is necessary to “take extreme precautions.” In this sense, he explained that on La Palma there are confined people because the arrival of the lava to the sea produces a cloud with gases that “can be dangerous”, being one of the moments that must be followed with “great care”.

The President of the Canary Islands has admitted that this situation is the “hardest thing” that he has experienced in his Presidency of the Government of the Canary Islands because, he has recognized, that being on the island of La Palma, stepping on ground that “is going to be devoured “, you look around and see that” that will disappear “, he has admitted that” you cannot put yourself in his place, this is dramatic because they have put their dream there, the houses they have inherited from their parents, they have put their sweat, their resources, his soul “and despite this the neighbors want to” stay there “because they feel like they are of a place. “You cannot console him, they have no consolation,” he pointed out.

Last week, the Canary Islands Government expected the lava to reach the coast during the night, moving at a speed of about 700 meters per hour. But as he advanced through the municipality of Los Llanos de Aridane, he encountered obstacles that slowed his progress to 120 meters per hour, as explained last Tuesday by the director of the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan, Miguel Ángel Morcuende, who refused to set a date. concrete to specify the arrival of the lava to the sea.

Since it erupted last Sunday, the material emanating from the volcano has covered 240 hectares, according to the latest data from CopernicusEMS, and has destroyed more than 390 homes, in addition to agricultural land, hydraulic infrastructure, roads or light poles.

The firefighters Consorcio de Emergencias de Gran Canaria who have traveled to La Palma to help in the face of the eruption have tried a desperate operation since last night: to channel a tremendous lava flow into a ravine to save homes in Todoque. But it was not enough. This Sunday the lava flow devastated the emblematic church of the town and several houses.