Sunday, December 5

Cumbre Vieja: the most devastating volcano of the last five centuries on La Palma

The full sign on La Palma on the bridge of Todos los Santos does not calm a population that faces the volcano most devastating of the last 5 centuries of the Spanish island.

In addition, the seismic activity does not stop with more than 150 earthquakes in the last day. It is estimated that the volcano has already emitted between 50 and 100 million cubic meters of pyroclasts and lava and has devastated more than 900 hectares.

The volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma (Atlantic) maintains its incessant activity since it emerged in the Cumbre Vieja area forty days ago and, although it presents a profile of stability in its seismicity and emissions parameters, nothing indicates that it is close the end of the eruption.

This, started on September 19, “does not show signs of change” for now, according to the head of the Volcanic Watch network of the National Geographic Institute (IGN) of Spain, Carmen López, who he does not see any sign that points to the depletion of the volcano.

The seismicity is still intense, with quite a few earthquakes senses and especially at depths of more than 20 kilometers, and others between 10 and 15 kilometers.

In the last hours, the advance of one of the lava flows, the one designated with number three, which could threaten the access road to Puerto Naos, a tourist town that is not at risk and that is far from this point, is of particular concern.

A small appendix has detached from that three wash, which is the one that heads towards the Las Majadas area and could affect the access road to the tourist center.

Air quality has improved in the last 24 hours, with no sulfur dioxide thresholds being exceeded at any of the metering stations.

A system of traffic lights has been put in place to promptly inform the population about air conditions and the councils associated with each level that will be disseminated by 112 and the municipalities.

Air quality will be graded as good (blue), reasonably good (green), fair (yellow), poor (orange), very poor (red), and extremely poor (purple).

The eruptive column of gases and ash that flows from the volcano reaches 3,300 meters in height and sulfur dioxide emissions in the plume maintain decreasing values ​​for the fifth consecutive day, although still high with 15,000 tons per day.

The seismic swarm associated with the eruption remains as in the last days, with a maximum magnitude of 4.2 and an intensity of IV on a scale of XII in the last hours.

Along with the damage it causes, the rash also attracts attention; In fact, a full of visitors is expected on La Palma this long weekend (Monday is a holiday in Spain) to see the phenomenon, which does not make up for the effect on the economic activity of tourism on the island.

Tourism represents more than 20 percent of La Palma’s GDP, and the average occupancy has fallen from 70 to 40 percent since the beginning of the eruption, which has forced businessmen in this sector to request aid from the Government.

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