The emission center of the La Palma volcano sighted this Friday about 300 meters southeast of the main cone presents this Saturday a minor activity and only expels ash. This has been explained by the director of the National Geographic Institute (IGN) in the Canary Islands and scientific spokesperson for the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca). “At this same point diffuse fumarolic emissions were located several days ago, but yesterday the emission appeared concentrated in space, throwing ash into the air,” he said. At the moment, it is not expected that it can emit lava.
Reverses the deformation and elevation of the area closest to the eruptive centers
Weather conditions are unfavorable and are expected to continue to be negative for the next 24 to 36 hours. The cloud of ash and sulfur dioxide has affected the operation of La Palma Airport this Saturday and has forced the airlines to cancel all scheduled flights to the island. María José Blanco also added that the airspace of Tenerife North and La Gomera may also be affected.
With regard to the seismicity registered in the municipalities of Mazo and Fuencaliente, Blanco insists that they are occurring at great depth. On October 9, in a meeting with the residents of these two areas, the volcanologist Stavros Meletlidis explained that tremors “are normal in eruptive processes such as the one that La Palma passes through.”
At 5.41 am this Saturday, the IGN reported an earthquake measuring 4.6 on the mbLg scale, 37 kilometers deep in Villa de Mazo. It is the largest earthquake of those recorded so far since the eruption in Cumbre Vieja began on September 19. At 7.07 am another 4.5 earthquake occurred in the same municipality and at the same depth.
More than 1,900 buildings affected
The streams located south of the La Laguna mountain continue to advance towards the sea. According to the technical director of Pevolca, Rubén Fernández, the one closest to the mountain has been channeled into a small valley and continues around 300 and 400 meters from the sea at a slow pace. The little finger of that wash located to the north has already destroyed the La Laguna soccer field.
According to the latest data collected by the European Copernicus Earth Observation System, the La Palma volcano has already damaged 1,923 buildings, of which 1,826 are destroyed and 97 are in danger or partially affected. In addition, the technical director of Pevolca has added that the affected area is 742 hectares and the maximum width of the wash amounts to 2,350 meters.
At the moment, no new evacuations are planned nor the confinement of new neighborhoods. However, these decisions are subject to the evolution of air quality, which “will worsen in the next few hours and this trend will continue tomorrow as well.” Thus, the technical director of Pevolca reminds the population of the importance of using FFP2 masks and reducing the exits of the elderly, pregnant women, children or people with pathologies.