Thursday, December 2

Direct | The cone of the La Palma volcano collapses on itself and the earthquakes worsen

The inner cone of the La Palma volcano has collapsed in on itself around 6:50 p.m. on that Tuesday, The Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands has reported on its social networks.

Involcan accompanies this information with a video in which, according to this scientific body, the “current and imposing” volcanic plume is observed.

Experts have warned that the volcanic cone that emerged from the eruption that began on September 19 at Cumbre Vieja is continually reconfigured due to the weight of the magmatic material.

The last rupture occurred in the afternoon of this Monday, which caused a large emission of lava.

In addition, the elevation of the land in the vicinity of the eruptive center in Cumbre Vieja, of 10 centimeters in the last 24 hours, and the high sulfur dioxide emission rates -40,800 tons according to the last measurement – presage that there is a volcano for a while on La Palma.

A forecast, that of the scientific committee that monitors the day to day on the Cumbre Vieja ridge, when this Tuesday marks the 50th anniversary of the Teneguía eruption, which lasted 24 days, from October 26 to November 18, 1971, and whose runoffs occupied 276 hectares.

The deformation of the ground that worries experts could anticipate an increase in the lava channel or the opening or closing of some emission point, always within the exclusion zone, as explained by the Canary Islands director of the National Geographic Institute, María José Blanco.

This happened on the other two occasions during the eruptive process that began on September 19 in which scientists detected this phenomenon, and now they will check the veracity of the data in case there could be any distortion in the measurements.

At the moment, this greater profusion of lava after the successive recompositions of the main cone continues to affect the original lava flow, the one that crossed Todoque and ended up forming a fajana, and in another that advanced through the south of the mountain of La Laguna and whose front continues about 120-130 meters from the sea.

Initially, the front of the wash that slipped into the urban area of ​​La Laguna tends to merge with that, waiting to see if the contributions of lava in recent days make it move faster and in what direction, which depends on whether there are more or less buried houses.

As for the last of the streams to emerge, the one that descends through Las Manchas, it has stopped about 150 meters from a photovoltaic plant, 250 meters from some houses in the Corazoncillo area and about 600 meters from the cemetery.

Up to 2,162 buildings affected

According to the latest calculation of the European Copernicus satellite system, 908.2 hectares are razed and 2,162 buildings destroyed, in addition to another 124 possibly affected.

According to the Cadastre data, the buildings destroyed or damaged are estimated at 1,291, of which 1,038 are for residential use, 135 for agriculture, 64 for industrial use, 30 for leisure and hospitality, 11 for public use and the rest for other uses.

Seismicity is another indication of the volcano’s good health in Cumbre Vieja.

In the last hours activity has intensified at depths greater than 20 kilometers, and, in fact, it has been located one of magnitude 4.8 in Fuencaliente with an epicenter at 34 kilometers and intensity IV. It is the second highest record throughout the eruptive process.

To further refine the monitoring of these earthquakes, researchers from the Higher Center for Scientific Research (CSIC) have transformed the fiber optic cabling used by the El Roque de Los Muchachos astrophysical observatory, in La Palma, into a seismic network to detect ground movements.

Thanks to the large number of sensors, one for every 10 meters of cable, provided by this system, it will be possible to carry out studies that are difficult using conventional seismographs, such as, for example, determining the location of the volcanic tremor and its change over time.

It was already used last year when the submarine communication cables connecting the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria were transformed., an area of ​​high seismic activity, in a network of sensors capable of detecting earthquakes both near and distant thousands of kilometers from its epicenter.

In 2018, similar equipment installed in the Pasadena (California) metropolitan area detected, more than 9,000 kilometers from the epicenter, an earthquake that occurred in the Fiji Islands.

The end is “far”

Although the end of the eruption is “far”, as admitted by the technical director of the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca), Miguel Ángel Morcuende, the different administrations work on the reconstruction process.

The president of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, announced this Tuesday that he will raise in the next conference of regions “a corrective method” to be able to receive “the greatest possible resources” from European solidarity funds in the event of disasters.

Torres has proclaimed in the Plenary of the Canary Islands Parliament that the community aspires “to the maximum possible” of these European aid, which must be accompanied by “the largest funds” from the Government of Spain, the Canary Islands, the Cabildo de La Palma and of the town councils of the municipalities of the Aridane Valley.

“In a multi-level exercise, we all have to contribute the maximum, as civil society has done,” Torres has added, adding that the reconstruction of La Palma will be “a joint effort. If we are not clear about it, we will have difficulties”, has asserted.

The Council of Ministers has authorized this Tuesday the application of the Contingency Fund for about 70 million euros to finance measures adopted to mitigate the economic and social effects of the volcanic eruption on La Palma.

In the first place, the application of the Contingency Fund has been authorized for an amount of 63 million euros and the granting of an extraordinary credit in the budget of the Ministry of Labor and Social Economy for the same amount, in order to finance the Extraordinary Plan of Employment and Training to face the consequences of the volcanic eruption.

According to updated data until this Monday, 224 requests for specific temporary regulation of employment (ERTE) files have been authorized for the volcanic eruption of La Palma, which bring together 1,071 workers.

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