Sunday, December 5

Up to 742 hectares and more than a thousand buildings destroyed: the devastating figures of the La Palma volcano after four weeks of eruption

The La Palma volcano this Sunday celebrates four weeks since it erupted, on September 19, at around 3:12 p.m., in Cabeza de Vaca, an area of ​​vineyards and mountains, belonging to the municipality of El Paso. 28 days in which the eruptive mouths have not stopped emitting magmatic materials to the outside, creating flows that already affect an area of ​​more than 742 hectares and that have buried entire towns, such as Todoque. According to data from the Cadastre, there are currently 1,058 buildings damaged by lava: houses, greenhouses, stables, shops, churches, nothing stops the advance of the tongues of fire, which have maximum widths of 2.35 kilometers, which have reached the sea ​​and have shaped a huge fajana, forever changing the map of the island.

The La Palma eruption continues to register “major explosions” one month after its onset

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The strombolian fissural eruption has had a greater explosiveness in recent days and its flows have come to advance very quickly, as if they were rivers, leaving mesmerizing images, impossible to erase from memory. Despite everything, the National Security Department (DNS) has assured in these first hours that, on this day, all languages ​​have slowed down.

For now, no new evacuations are foreseen unless there are new deviations from the path of the lava or an increase in the concentration of gases, DNS has pointed out. In these four weeks, almost 7,000 palm trees and palm trees have had to abandon their homes. Against the clock, the Government of the Canary Islands is looking for new homes for all of them where they can rebuild a new home.

Solidarity has also gathered in these 28 days on La Palma with initiatives to raise funds for those affected in all parts of the regional and national geography. Donations of clothing or food from all over Spain have multiplied and have moved all the islanders. And more and more aid for the victims continues to be added every day.

Science has taken La Palma as a natural laboratory these days, with national and international experts monitoring the volcano minute by minute. None of them rule out the appearance of new emission centers around the main cone, as well as other surface observables (visible gas emission) within the exclusion zone. None predicts the end of the volcanic eruption.

Air quality concerns

This Sunday the unfavorable weather conditions for air quality are particularly worrying, which, according to forecasts, may last for the next 24 hours. In La Palma, the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) predicts the arrival of a slight haze, while the volcanic ash cloud would move to the north, and could affect the eastern slope: the airport, Santa Cruz de La Palma, and even Tenerife and La Gomera.

Thus, a stop in the airport’s activity is not ruled out. However, at the moment, it is operational, although due to the situation of the two ash clouds, the airlines have canceled some flights.

A 4.3 earthquake this morning

In the last 28 days, La Palma has not stopped registering earthquakes, which in recent days have reached magnitudes greater than 4 at great depths, which reflects “a readjustment of magma reservoirs,” Carmen López del National Geographic Institute (IGN).

The IGN 24-hour monitoring volcanic surveillance network has located a total of 42 earthquakes associated with the eruption of the volcano during the night, a dozen of them with magnitudes greater than 3 (mbLg). The maximum magnitude recorded was 4.3 (mbLg) corresponding to the earthquake located southwest of the municipality of Villa de Mazo at 04.10 hours. With intensity IV EMS and a depth of 35 km, it was felt in numerous centers throughout the island.

Two more earthquakes of 3.2 and 3.4 magnitude were also felt, with intensities II and III, located at 05.56 and 08.12 hours northeast of the municipality of Fuencaliente and southwest of Villa de Mazo, 11 and 12 kilometers deep. .

According to the DNS, in the next few days there may be earthquakes more felt by the population due to their intensity, without data that suggest that they do not maintain a depth of around 36 and 37 kilometers.

Work continues to activate desalination plants

Drilling work has begun in new catchment wells, to guarantee the necessary supply for the two portable desalination plants that are being installed in Puerto Naos. Likewise, work has been completed to increase the electrical power required by the supply system.