Tuesday, October 19

The most active lava flow on La Palma loses strength after razing a supermarket and a football field in the La Laguna neighborhood

The area affected until this Wednesday, October 13, by the lava flow from the La Palma volcano amounts to 674.5 hectares, 34.23 more than the previous day, although its width remains (1,770 meters). This has been highlighted by the director of the Volcanic Emergency Plan of the Canary Islands (Pevolca), Miguel Ángel Morcuende, this Thursday, when two of the three arms of the original wash (one of them, the one that formed the fajana) seem to have lost strength. However, the expert pointed out in a press conference, the focus is on the other wash, which is moving west-northwest. This language has two fronts, “the one that has destroyed the Spar building in La Laguna” and that until this Thursday had a “high intensity and a lot of travel” and, to the northwest of this, the other front that crossed the industrial zone diagonally from Callejón de la Gata and slipped through the La Laguna soccer field at dawn. Both have lost strength after razing several buildings.

This last appendix, precisely, is the one that has forced 300 people to evacuate their homes between last night and this Thursday morning, at which time “the entire evacuation of La Laguna by weight has been completed,” although many of residents had previously left the area on their own as a precaution, Morcuende added.

In turn, this sleeve “has encompassed a lot of material from buildings”, has lost a lot of fluidity and has gained in viscosity. “She is still well fed from behind, but has a harder time moving,” Morcuende said.

Sulfur dioxide reaches Tenerife

Air quality on La Palma is still good and, in the worst case, added the director of Pevolca, “reasonably good”. A fact that was advanced by the spokesperson for the Pevolca Scientific Committee, María José Blanco, who explained that this Wednesday “low values ​​of sulfur dioxide were measured at all stations on the island.” However, in his appearance he highlighted a fact that had not happened before during this volcanic emergency: “For the first time, in the Atmospheric Research Center of Izaña (Tenerife) very high values ​​of carbon dioxide were registered during the early hours of October 12. sulfur, reaching hourly values ​​above the saturation thresholds of the equipment, which is 7,500 micrograms per cubic meter “. The episode, he pointed out, has subsided throughout this morning.

On the other hand, this good air quality that has allowed the island’s airport to operate may be threatened by another factor in the coming hours: the arrival of “a Saharan advection.” This will continue to facilitate the operation of the aerodrome, but “it will harm air quality,” the two experts stressed.

Regarding seismicity, it continues to be located slightly “further south of the initial swarm”, with a somewhat lower number of earthquakes but of somewhat higher magnitudes. Blanco named the earthquake this morning, of magnitude 4.5, the largest since the eruption began in Cumbre Vieja. However, this occurred at a depth of 37 kilometers, so there is still no danger, for the moment, that another emission center will be born.

Buildings and crops affected

According to the latest update of the Copernicus terrestrial monitoring satellites, there are already at least 1,600 buildings affected. Of these, 1,548 are completely destroyed and 86 remain at risk. According to the comparison with the cadastre, there are 992 destroyed buildings, 809 for residential use, 95 for agriculture, 47 for industrial use, 22 for hotels and leisure, eight for public use and 11 for other uses.

Morcuende reported that the number of hectares of crops destroyed by lava amounts to 179.3: 92.97 of banana trees, 50.17 of vineyards and 12.21 of avocado trees.


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