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La Palma volcano and its impact after the increase in its explosions

German Centeno
7 min read
La Palma volcano and its impact after the increase in its explosions
La Palma volcano reaches a pool

The volcano located on the island of La Palma, in the Canary Islands archipelago, erupted last Sunday, September 19 and since then it has remained quite active. A fact that led to the evacuation of thousands of people from the Island.

This is how three weeks after having awakened the volcano on La Palma, it continues to generate new waves of lava and now expelling large rocks at least the size of a three-story building.

This situation has placed the inhabitants of the Spanish island in a state of alarm, who all these days have had to deal with each of the explosions of the volcano, which has remained in constant eruptions affecting a large part of the nearby towns.

A new lava flow

La Palma volcano and its impact after the increase in its explosions
Lava flow

On this occasion, temperatures of up to 1,240 degrees Celsius have been found, which has managed to destroy the few buildings that were left to the north of the town of Todo que, one of the most affected areas since last September 19. This has been reported by the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands this Sunday.

It has already been three weeks of constant eruptions and lava, but now adding the gigantic blocks of volcanic material, some of them large, which can even be compared to buildings.

All this is an eruptive process that has been increasing little by little, especially in recent days as a result of all the landslides recorded near the crater area.

Since it erupted last month, the volcano has destroyed an area greater than 525 hectares and around 1,200 buildings, while around 100 buildings are at risk due to the new path taken by the lava flows.

According to the opinion of the experts, they have ensured that the evolution of the eruption is being a normal process of the volcanoes, who continue to monitor their activity to guarantee the safety of all the inhabitants near it.

On the other hand, the government of La Palma has explained that it will be allowing the entry of evacuated neighbors with properties outside the security perimeter to collect their belongings, for this they will have controlled and restricted access, they will also have the accompaniment of professional security personnel, all this to ensure that no person is going to find themselves in a dangerous situation.

A pretty loud and spooky night

La Palma volcano and its impact after the increase in its explosions
Earthquakes and explosions make nights very noisy

The nights are becoming less and less friendly for the inhabitants of the area, and it is that the sounds emitted by the volcano when expelling the magma, together with the earthquakes and explosions, make the nights become very noisy and stormy for the most.

Until now, earthquakes continue to be abundant, but which are located between 10 and 15 kilometers deep and many of them more than 20 km, according to this, experts believe that a new eruptive zone will not be opened.

During the daily interviews offered by the specialists who work on the La Palma's Cumbre Vieja volcano, they said this Wednesday that the amount of magma released by the crater during these three weeks varies between 19.6 million cubic meters.

This is estimated through an Involcan calculation using diffuse sulfur dioxide emissions and the 60 million cubic meters estimated by a satellite program.

These figures offered by the specialists allow us to have an idea of how difficult it is to calculate the volume of magma at the moment, this has been made known by the scientist María José Blanco.

Ash and gases travel more than 3,500 meters

La Palma volcano and its impact after the increase in its explosions
The advance of the Volcano is increasing

María Blanco stressed that according to the wind weather forecast, for this Thursday the ash cloud may again affect activity at the La Palma airport, so she may not be able to work.

The airports of other islands of the Canary archipelago such as Tenerife will also be affected.

So far, the ashes and gases have reached a height of 3,500 meters, while the lava delta of the La Palma volcano that is forming when it falls into the sea continues to extend its surface and advances into the depth of the ocean, what can affect animal life there.

Volcano experts continue to monitor this entire area, since it runs the risk of collapsing if the lava continues to advance to the depths of the ocean, which will be accompanied by the releases of gases, causing explosions and increasing waves, although this may be of low altitude.

For now, the volcano emits around 4,522 tons of sulfur dioxide and 1,958 tons of carbon dioxide per day, so scientists have ensured that this does not cause any danger to residents or visitors to the island.

It must be borne in mind that the Cumbre Vieja is one of the most active volcanic complexes in the Canary Islands and in the world, this is how two of the last three eruptions on the island have occurred in this place, such as the volcano San Juan, in 1949 and Teneguía in 1971.

The latter caused only one fatal victim by inhalation of the gases.

La Palma, like the rest of the Canary Islands, is an island of volcanic origin, with an estimated geological age of two million years, which is why it is considered one of the youngest in the archipelago.

Will the end of the eruption be near?

La Palma volcano and its impact after the increase in its explosions
CO2 levels are quite high for now

According to the statements of the director of the National Geographic Institute of the Canary Islands, María Blanco, she has assured that CO2 levels are quite high, which removes the possibility that the end of the eruptions is near.

"We are analyzing and using parameters that allow us to know the end of the eruptions, one of them consists of the rate of carbon dioxide, which is currently at 17,000 and which should have a margin of less than 100 tons per day This suggests that the end of the eruption is nowhere near at all. " María Blanco has commented.

The sulfur dioxide rate increases compared to previous days

La Palma volcano and its impact after the increase in its explosions
The volcano grows stronger as the days go by

On the other hand, the President of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, has made some statements to the media once the meeting of the Pevolca Scientific Committee ended, where he first thanked Pedro Sánchez for the fourth visit to the Island of La Palm.

Likewise, the leader of the Canary Islands has recognized the increase in sulfur dioxide levels, which has grown compared to the previous days.

In the same way, he has shown his support and attention to the people who have had to be evacuated from La Laguna. "He wants to talk about what happened yesterday, it is necessary to make decisions to carry out the evacuations correctly" Commented the President of Canaria.

Yesterday around 280 people were evicted, who are staying at the Hotel Princess in Fuencaliente.

The leader of Canaria has also ensured the acquisition of new homes for those most affected who have lost everything. "A total of 18 homes have been acquired, and we are working to acquire 45 more, which will be delivered to people who have lost everything."

The Canary Island's government continues to work against time to be able to protect the crops that need to be protected and thus avoid greater losses, which are estimated to be between 60 million euros.

"Work is being done hard to place desolation plants that generally take between five and six months to install, and by the end of this week they could be already installed and thus supply the agricultural sector. Tomorrow the tanker is expected to arrive to support us in these works, "added Ángel Víctor Torres.