La Palma volcano eruption: live updates, Sunday 19 September



La Palma volcano eruption: live

Live coverage of La Palma volcano

Here you can see live footage of the clouds of smoke rising above the island. We have our Spanish team monitoring the situation and will be updating regularly here.

Latest News

New footage of the volcanic eruption in Canary Island

The lava from the volcanic eruption in La Palma continues. The president has said it's heading for the coast, but unlikely to damage more homes.


Can the volcano in La Palma produce a tsunami at the east coast of United States?

The Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands and geologists of the ING responded to the theory being put forward about the risk to other coastlines.

See full story.

Melia Hotel evacuating 500 tourists

Reports coming in that the Melia Hotel Sol in La Palma is preparing the evacuate 500 tourists. The news comes as the lava from the volcano continues to make its way towards the coast, with scientific experts tracking the situation predicting that the lava will enter the sea along the Central West Tazacorte coast, possibly at Playa Nueva in Los Guirres.

Latest News

New footage of the volcanic eruption in Canary Island

The lava from the volcanic eruption in La Palma continues. The president has said it's heading for the coast, but unlikely to damage more homes.

The mayor of El Paso confirms town is "totally evacuated"

The mayor of El Paso, Sergio Javier Rodríguez Fernández, has told Cadena SER that "the area is completely evacuated, it is safe for people, but not for the infrastructure. Ashes are an added danger, but this is difficult to control."

The front page of Almería's local newspaper Ideal this Monday morning with an impressive photo of the volcanic eruption in La Palma. Lava is currently spewing out of eight craters...


Did the Canary Island volcanic eruption damage homes? Are people being evacuated from La Palma?

A volcano on the remote Spanish Island of La Palma has destroyed dozens of homes as the lava continues its relentless march down hillsides and into towns. The last time the Cumbre Vieja volcano erupted was 1971 but after more than 22,000 tremors were felt this week a new eruption was inevitable.

Due to scientific analysis, the population was prepared for evacuation with the help of the Guardia Civil, Spain's national guard. So far 5,000 people have been evacuated.

There is also a small tsunami risk for th United States due to the partial collapse of the volcano into the oecean.

Read more here

5,000 evacuated from La Palma

The Civil Guard has already evacuated 5,000 people affected by the new volcano on La Palma. Some 35,000 people are now under restrictions including closing all windows and exterior doors, lowering blinds and closing the water, gas and electricity supplies and go to the established meeting points. 

The authorities believe that up to 10,000 people could be evacuated.

Tenerife's firefighters prepared to support La Palma

The government of Tenerife, the largest of the Canary islands, has pledged its firefighters to supporting the volcanic eruption on La Palma. Wildfires are expected.

All the islands in the area are formed from old volcanoes.

More images of the eruption and lava flow


Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez speaks

In a press conference from Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Sanchez discussed the unfolding situation on the islands.

"The safety of the citizens of La Palma must be guaranteed. For a week we have made an anticipation on how to act at the time of the eruption."

"I wanted to make a mention of the contribution of science, because thanks to that we could anticipate events. It has been thanks to the accuracy of science."

"Enough troops have been deployed to face any type of contingencies. We are awaiting the fires. The Civil Guard, Police, Firefighters, Red Cross are going to be deployed ... and the Military Emergency Unit is also being added."

"[The islands have] the support of the Government of Spain so that material losses are addressed as soon as possible. I have communicated with the King and we have given him first-hand information on the state of the situation. Tomorrow at 12:00 we have a new meeting of situation to see the evolution of this eruption ".

"We have all the troops, the citizens must be calm. Their safety is guaranteed."


Can the volcano in La Palma produce a tsunami at the east coast of United States?

Just hours after the Spanish island of La Palma rumbled and the volcano erupted, a theory about its wider repercussions began to gain strength... again. And despite the fact that various authorities, professionals, the Instituto Vulcanolgist Institute of the Canary Islands and geologists from the National Geographical Institute deny it, the aftershocks of these claims continue to be felt.

The theory I'm talking about surrounds the question: Could a tsunami be created from the landslide collapse, one that could hit the east coast of the United States?

We have a look.

Volcanic eruption the result of repeated earthquakes

The dramatic images coming from the Canary Islands today are due to seismic disturbances that began at 3.15pm local time. The small Spanish islands, off of the west coast of Africa, have been barraged with 15 earthquakes in the space of 6 hours.

All of them have been less than 3 points of magnitude on the Richter scale, specifically between 2 and 2.9 points, according to the updated information of the National Geographic Institute (IGN). The last quake was two hours ago.

The earthquakes have all taken place in El Paso and Tazacorte, although one of them took place a little further south, in Fuencaliente, which has also registered seismic activity in recent days.

Speed of lava judged to be 0.43 mph

The speed of the lava is just over 700 meters an hour, according to Involcan, the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute.

The volcanologist says eruption could last for weeks

The director of the group Geosciences Barcelona and volcanologist, Joan Martin, has stressed that the volcanic eruption that occurred today on the island of La Palma is "normal" in terms of those that have historically been witnessed in the Canary Islands. He added that, based on the data available to him, it could feasibly continue for up to six to eight weeks.

Martín has indicated that it is a Strombolian eruption, a type of volcanic eruption with relatively mild blasts, having a Volcanic Explosivity Index of about 1 to 2. They consist of ejection of incandescent cinders, lapilli, and lava bombs, to altitudes of tens to a few hundreds of metres. The biggest problem may be the gases that come out with the magma.

The lava may possibly reach the sea, as has happened on other occasions in La Palma.

Volcano from above

This view from the skies above the volcano, taken from inside the Civil Guard helicopter, adds an extra level of understanding of what is having to be dealt with.

The evacuation of more than 5,000 people in progress

The Spanish Civil Guard has reported that the evacuation efforts will affect more than 5,000 people from different neighbourhoods of the municipalities of El Paso, Tazacorte and Los Llanos de Aridane.

This process had initially begun with around 300 people living in Alcalá and El Paraíso, the closest areas to the eruption, with people with reduced mobility getting priority.

The Civil Guard has deployed 11 patrols, which includes a patrol boat and a helicopter.

Volcano explosion priorities

Our Spanish colleague Santi Giménez has shared this tweet from a group that were having lunch on La Palma when the volcano erupted.

Needless to say, the comment from one of the males in the group, seemingly very relaxed about the situation, was "Don't worry, there's still time to eat, no problem."

Santi recalls 'If' and paraphrases Kipling's famous poem: "If you can keep your head when all about you, others are losing theirs..."

Pevolca warns of the dangers of volcanic ash

The Volcanic Emergency Plan of the Canary Islands (Pevolca) has called for calm in the population, and has launched a series of recommendations for those living in areas at risk of the possible ash fall.

The main advice is to avoid going out of the house but, if people do, they should cover their nose and mouth with a mask to avoid inhaling the ashes directly, and to protect their eyes with goggles.

It is not advisable to stay in uncovered areas nor to exercise outdoors, and, while ashes are falling, people should close doors, windows and all ventilation in the house, including fireplaces, heating and air conditioning.

Authorities have advised people to remove accumulated ash from flat roofs and rain gutters, keep water tanks and cisterns covered, prevent ash from coming into contact with food, wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly, do not eat food outdoors, and clean bushes and plants and shake trees if possible.

Indoors, use a vacuum cleaner, if possible, for furniture, carpets, etc and clean the dust frequently. Ash should be collected in plastic bags and disposed of in containers, never in the public drains.

In addition, people are asked to avoid driving while there is ashfall unless absolutely necessary, in which case do not exceed 40 kilometers per hour, as the engines may become clogged and the vehicles may break down.

50 people with reduced mobility aided with evacuation

A total of 50 people with reduced mobility who have been evacuated from the area affected by the volcanic eruption in La Palma have been transferred to the old barracks of El Fuerte.

There they are being attended to by medical teams, with the support of Red Cross staff.

The general condition of all these evacuees is good.

Stay away! A simple warning as things heat up

The alert level has been raised to orange.

The advice of '👉 Do not move to the affected area' makes a lot of sense when you see this new video from IGN.

Helicopter footage

A helicopter flies over the columns of fire and smoke rising from the area where the La Palma volcano erupted.

Lava flow in La Palma

In this clip you can see some of the flow that has followed from the eruption. As you can imagine, this is being tracked by the professional teams very, very closely.

The rescue teams arrive on scene

A variety of support teams along with their wealth of equipment have been sent to the affected areas. Here you can see some of this including:

- 2 Brivam teams (with 8 agents in each)
- A technician
- An environmental agent
- 2 fire fighting trucks
- 4 transport vehicles

Some homes affected and 350 evacuated in El Paso

In the settlement of El Paraíso, in El Paso, there have been a number of home affected by the fire in La Palma, and this has resulted in around 350 people in this municipality being evacuated.

The mayor of El Paso, Sergio Rodriguez, has reported in statements to EFE that the affected homes are located in the upper area of the municipality. We've not yet been able to get verification of the numbers.

Rodriguez expects to save the bulk of the houses of El Paso, if the situation does not worsen, as he expects the lava to advance on the north side of Montaña Rajada, where there are a small number of houses.

Possible routes of volcanic flow

Information coming out of the authorities on the island continue to give guidance over which parts of the island are most likely to be affected.

How the tremors were captured in La Palma

This is how the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute captured the seismic activity as the volcanic eruption unfolded.

Message from Spain PM

As we mentioned before, Pedro Sánchez has changed his New York plans in order to deal with the emergency situation on La Palma. He posted this message a short time ago.

"I am currently on my way to the Canary Islands, in view of the seismic evolution, to know first hand the situation in La Palma, the coordination of all the teams and the active protocols.

"We are postponing our trip to the USA to attend the UN General Assembly."

Seven eruptive vents spotted

We mentioned early that there were said to have been five vents but according to the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute, there appear to be seven.

Heat images from above volcano

Check out these recent images taken by the coordination and observation aircraft (ACO) in the area. This plane is used for monitoring and tracking volcanic activity.

Spanish PM swaps Big Apple for volcano

The Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, has cancelled his planned trip to New York to instead go to the Canary Islands in the coming hours to follow the evolution of the volcanic situation in La Palma.


Volcanic eruption duration unknown as yet

"It is not yet possible to calculate how long the volcano will last," said Stavros Meletlidis, volcanologist at the National Geographic Institute.

"We are working on getting data to have a more global idea of the eruption. In the Canary Islands, eruptions in general do not last long."

Spanish government issues guidance

The tweet below was issued by the national government as they watch with concern as to what could happen next.

➡️Take extreme precautions
➡️Do not approach the eruption area
➡️Keep roads clear
➡️Follow the directions of local authorities

Volcano footage

More footage, this time from Bloomberg.

Airlines advised not to operate flights to La Palma

The manager of air navigation in Spain, Enaire, has issued a recommendation as a preventive measure that no flights depart to the island of La Palma.

It will be the airlines that ultimately decide whether to fly to La Palma, as air traffic is not closed, the AENA sources added.

Binter Canarias reported the diversion to the point of origin of a flight that left Tenerife North bound for La Palma.

They posted on social media that the decision is pending the volcanic situation and that smoke emanating from the Cabeza de Vaca area "may affect visibility."


Reporter reacts after La Palma earth tremor caught live on air

As the volcano erupted and the ground shook, this journalist's panic was caught on live Spanish TV.

"It was an eruption of at least five vents"

Francisca González, the TVE journalist, who was blown away by the explosion.

"At 15:20 Canary time, that explosion occurred," he said. "There was an explosion behind us. It is an eruption of at least five vents.

"It is in an area of ravines, of volcanic lava flows."

El Paso Mayor confirms evacuation from areas near the eruption

"We have vacated the area of El Paraíso and Alcalá," announced Mayor Sergio Rodríguez.

According to the defence ministry, soldiers had been deployed to help with the evacuation, and this process is expected to continue depending on how the situation develops.

Prediction the eruption

Scientists had been monitoring the growing threat in the area and had recorded a series of earthquakes in the park reaching up to 3.8 magnitude.

You have to go back to 1971 for the last recorded volcanic eruption in La Palma, says the Spanish National Geographical Institute (ING), with the first ever one on record being in 1430.

Canary Islands president warns residents

After the volcano erupted in the forested area, the local president, Ángel Víctor Torres Pérez, tweeted the TV footage that was emerging.

'Powerful images!' he said and warned residents to take plenty of care.

'I have just informed the President of the Government of Spain. This afternoon I will be at the #PEVOLCA Steering Committee to assess the situation,' he shared

La Palma volcanic eruption: latest news

Hello and thank you for joining our live coverage of the volcanic eruption that has taken place today on the Spanish Canary island of La Palma.

We have been keeping a close eye on what has been happening there over the last few days as the seismic activity was slowly building.

At 3:10 pm local time, (which is the same as the UK, rather than mainland Spain which is an hour ahead), and 10:10 am on the east coast of the US, a huge column of smoke grew above the Cumbre Vieja national park, located to the south of the popular tourist destination.

We will keep you up to date as the situation develops...