Tuesday, December 7

The tremor of the La Palma volcano intensifies and the lava does not affect new surfaces

The eruptive activity of the La Palma volcano increased during the afternoon of this Saturday, as well as the level of tremor. However, the lava continues to pass over previous flows, mainly through the central zone and through the volcanic tubes, but without affecting the new surface. As explained this Sunday by the spokesperson for the scientific committee of the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca), Carmen López, and the technical director, Miguel Ángel Morcuende, there is only one advance of a lava flow towards the southwest, which runs north of the Cogote Mountain.

Air quality is “reasonably good” at most measurement points, although some high spike in sulfur dioxide has been recorded in Puntagorda. Meanwhile, in Los Llanos de Aridane unfavorable levels of air quality have been measured by microparticles. The wind enters from the east, and will send the plume to the southwest, a “very beneficial” factor for air quality and also for the operation of La Palma airport.

Morcuende has specified that today, which will foreseeably be when the Government of the Canary Islands decides whether to resume face-to-face classes tomorrow, the amount of PM10 suspended particles has increased in Los Llanos de Aridane, where the air quality is extremely unfavorable and it is advisable to use FFP2 protection masks and limit outdoor activities as much as possible.

The height of the ash scattering cloud is 2,700 meters, and the emission of sulfur dioxide is 10,000 tons per day, but it has continued to decline since October 25.

On the other hand, seismicity continues to decline at depths greater than ten kilometers. Even so, it is foreseeable that earthquakes felt by the population will continue to occur. Carmen López has pointed out that in the last hours the maximum magnitude has been 4.5 and that the earthquakes have been located in the same areas and at the same depths. Likewise, the deformation registered in the Jedey station has reverted, and in the rest of the stations there is a trend towards deflation.

The lava is not affecting new surfaces, but the hectares damaged by the volcano already amount to 950, with a perimeter of 56 kilometers. In addition, the lava delta occupies 30 hectares. According to data from the Cadastre, 1,446 buildings have been affected, most of them for residential use. 147 are for agricultural use and 66 are industrial, 33 for leisure, 13 for public use and the other 14 are for other unspecified uses. The number of buildings affected increases according to Copernicus, which puts 2,583 buildings destroyed and 129 at risk.

In addition, there are 63 kilometers of roads affected, of which 43 correspond to small roads and 283 hectares of crops, of which more than half are banana trees, followed by vineyards and avocado trees. Morcuende has specified that so far there are 467 people relocated, of which 400 are in Fuencaliente and 67 in Los Llanos de Aridane. A total of 43 dependent people are in social health centers.