La Palma volcano eruption news summary for 21 September

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La Palma volcano eruption today: evacuation, possible tsunami and live updates

La Palma volcano eruption: live updates

Live coverage of La Palma volcano

Here you can see live footage of the volcanic eruption. We have our Spanish team monitoring the situation and will be updating regularly here.

Latest News

Hundreds more evacuated as lava from Canary Island volcano nears the sea

Video report: Hundreds more evacuated as lava from Canary Island volcano nears the sea

AS USA's Jennifer Bubel has this video report on the latest situation on La Palma.

Todoque residents allowed to recover possessions until Wednesday evening

The Cabildo de La Palma, the island’s local government, has told the evacuated inhabitants of Todoque that they can return to the village to recover possessions from their homes until 7pm local time on Wednesday.

Given the slow advance of the lava flow, the plan is to allow citizens from the village of Todoque to access their homes - as long as it's safe - to pick up some belongings or documentation that they might need, and also goods that may be perishable,” the Cabildo said.

The lava flow from the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano reached Todoque on Tuesday, and was estimated earlier on Wednesday to have caused the destruction of around 200 homes in the village, which has just under 1,500 inhabitants.

Eruption could last up to 84 days, says Involcan

The eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma is expected to last between 24 and 84 days, according to calculations by the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute (Involcan).

In a social-media post, Involcan said the duration of an eruption is difficult to estimate precisely, but can be calculated by using data from previous eruptions on La Palma.

The Cumbre Vieja eruption has an average expected duration of 55 days, Involcan said.

The body also says it has detected a “strong increase” in explosive activity in the active vents of the volcano.

WORLD NEWS

La Palma volcano: what happens when the lava reaches the sea?

Once the lava reaches the water there will be a thermal shock caused by the huge temperature difference between the two materials. It is, after all, lava at around 1,100 degrees Celsius, which is pushing 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, mixing with the coastal water of 23°C (73°F). This will see a rapid cooling of the hot fluid, with a number of other consequences.

Full details

Lava flow

Lava flow so far and expected course

Our colleagues at El País have put together this graphic outlining the lava flow so far and its expected course, having now reached the village of Todoque. The red areas are those most affected by the lava flow.

You'll find more El País graphics (in Spanish) here.

La Palma

A resident evacuates her home on Tuesday in the wake of the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma.

REUTERS/Borja Suarez

"We’re the last people who’ll see this village standing"

The lava flow has reached the village of Todoque, which has about 1,400 inhabitants, with Radio Nacional de España reporting that almost 200 homes have been destroyed, with another 500 under threat.

On Tuesday, the evacuated residents of the village were rescuing their belongings from their homes under the supervision of firefighters, with the journalist Javier Rodríguez telling the Spanish radio station Cadena SER: "We’re the last people who’ll see this village standing."

Drone footage of lava spilling into swimming pool

Drones are providing incredible images of the lava flow as it advances down the slope of Cumbre Vieja on La Palma Island.

Residents fear for their livelihoods as lava advances

Tourists and curious residents are flocking to view what for some is a natural wonder of the lava being expulsed from the earth. the flipside of the coin are those residents who are watching their homes and livelihoods swallowed up by the advancing river of lava on its way to the ocean.

Follow the lava flow on La Palma

The National Geographic Institute in Spain has developed a new tool to visualize the lava flow from the Cumbre Vieja eruption on La Palma.

Spanish firefighters try to channel lava flow on La Palma

Spanish firefighters from Gran Canaria Island aiding in the emergency operations on La Palma are using heavy machinery to excavate a channel in an attempt to redirect the flow and salvage structures in the path of the advancing lava. 

They realize that it is an impossible task to redirect the flow that measures up to 20 feet high "but you have to give a go."

World News

How many active volcanoes are there in the Canary Islands?

The Canary Islands in Spain were formed hundreds of thousands of years ago by volcanoes, and some are still active as shown this week.

La Palma eruption registers over 26,000 tremors 

A cluster on seismic activity began two weeks ago in the leadup to the eruption on La Palma in the Canary Islands archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa. The largest registered earthquake was 4.2 magnitude on Sunday the day the magma broke through the surface. 1,600 of the tremors have been located by the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute (Involcan) in their latest report.

La Palma eruption Tuesday evening: footage

Monitoring station had detected increased seismic activity on Tuesday. This has coincided with more explosive eruptions and a new vent opening.

La Palma eruption intensifies

The Canary Island Seismic Network has registered a "strong increase in the magnitude of volcanic tremors" over the course of Tuesday afternoon. This can be seen in the increased explosive activity coming out of the vents that have opened.

The volcanos present on the Canary Islands have Strombolian eruptions, which are generally low intensity explosions with the ash column not expected to reach more than 4 km into the atmosphere.

Drone footage of the advancing lava in La Palma

The advancing lava continues to claim more structures as it flows toward the ocean.

Sulfur dioxide cloud from La Palma eruption heading for Europe

A cloud of sulfur dioxide could reach the south east coast of Spain in two days entering over Murcia and spreading along the Levant coast. The entire peninsula is expected to be covered by the cloud by Friday. The small number of SO2 particles will not present a health risk to the population.

World Central Kitchen providing meals on La Palma

World Central Kitchen provides free meals to people in the wake of natural disasters. The non-profit, founded by Spanish native José Andrés, has set up shop in La Palma to provide meals to the first responders tackling the developing eruption.

New vent opens in La Palma

Vicente Soler a volcanologist from the Spanish National Research Council announces that a new vent has opened earlier in the evening Tuesday 21 September.

A look at the volcanic eruption on La Palma 

Volcanologists were able to give advance warning to the residents near the latest eruption on La Palma, having observed the telltale signs that the arrival of the magma was imminent. Prior to the eruption over 25,000 tremors were registered as the 11 million cubic meters of magma at 1,100 degrees Celsius pushed its way to the surface. 

The eruption which started Sunday shortly after 3 in the afternoon hasn’t reached its climax yet and could continue for weeks or even a couple months.

Two rivers of lava advance toward ocean 

The most recent fissure which opened on Monday has created a second lava flow to the north of the first. The local emergency coordinator Miguel Ángel Morcuende told the press that the new flow is advancing “more quickly and fluidly” and has overtaken the first. 

Morcuende would not speculate on when the flows would reach the ocean which had originally be forecast for Monday evening, then pushed back to Tuesday noon, which hasn't happened yet, when the speed of the river of lava was recalculated. The first flow is now advancing at approximately 200 meters per hour.

Previous lava flows on La Palma

Two days after the eruption began, lava continues to flow from the nine vents that have opened on La Palma in the Canary Islands. Authorities are awaiting the flow's reaching the ocean where they fear it could cause more explosions and toxic gas clouds.

This is the ninth recorded eruption on La Palma, check out where the previous flows traversed the island on their way to the sea.

NEWS

Where are the Canary Islands on a map? Who owns the islands?

Last Sunday, the small Canary island of La Palma became global news following the volcanic eruption on the fifth of the eight islands (size-wise) that compose the Canary Islands archipelago.

The eruption started on Sunday at 10:10 am ET, after a week of seismic tremors, with a huge column of smoke rising above the Cumbre Vieja national park before lava began pouring out of several vents.

Over 5,000 people have been evacuated from the area, and numerous homes, properties and farmland destroyed by lava, which is close to reaching the sea. There are fears of explosions when the lava hits the seawater, as well as the release of more toxic chemicals, and people are being warned to stay away from the area.

Authorities have put in place a nautical exclusion zone around the point where the lava is expected to enter the Atlantic Ocean.

Full story

Lava continues to flow in La Palma

Rivers of volcanic lava continue to flow toward the ocean after the Canary Islands’ first volcanic eruption in 50 years

Hundreds more houses at risk

El País - At least 183 homes have already been destroyed on the Canary Island, although the progress of the molten rock has slowed compared to Monday.

Full story

Footage of the volcanic eruption in La Palma

Vigo vessel set to travel to La Palma

A ship(the 'Ramón Margalef') from the Spanish Institute of Oceanography left Vigo port on Tuesday afternoon to make the journey south to the Canaries where experts will study the lava flow in La Palma.

Dramatic photo showing the lava flow around a stranded house on the island

Guardia Civil footage shows lava advancing down a highway

Lanzarote firemen head to La Palma

A Lanzarote fire-crew are heading to La Palma to offer assistance to local fire crews on the smaller island.

Etna

Etna erupts

The Sicilian volcano which lies between the cities of Messina and Catania has been quiet for the past few weeks, but just this morning began to spew columns of smoke and ash skywards.

Extent of the damage so far

The Times of the UK has been assessing the damage so far, as well as discussing how people are reacting to the phenomenon.

Last night thousands of cars carrying locals keen to see the spectacle of the volcano created a traffic jam along the 20-mile stretch of the island’s main road between El Paso and Santa Cruz de la Palma, its capital.

“It’s nature in its finest expression,” said Jorge Valenciano, a taxi driver originally from Venezuela. “I’m not saying it’s not sad to see all the destruction, but it’s something to behold.”

La Palma

La Palma eruption could last “several weeks or months"

The volcanic eruption in La Palma could last “several weeks or a few months,” according to the director of the Canary Islands’ Volcanology Institute, Nemesio Pérez. Speaking to Cadena SER radio, he explained that the duration would depend on the amount of magma that had been accumulated in the volcano’s “reservoir.”

PS

Spanish PM to make swift La Palma return

The Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez is currently in New York attending the United Nations meeting and is expected to spend just 48 hours in the 'Big Apple' before making a quick return to La Palma to monitor the latest situation on the island.

La P

Google mark volcanic eruption

Google maps now makes reference to the Cumbre Vieja volcanic eruption on La Palma, the fifth biggest if the eight major islands that compose the Canary Island archipelago.

los campitos

Concern over lava reaching the sea

Experts say that if and when the lava reaches the sea, it could trigger more explosions and clouds of toxic gases.

Marine authorities are keeping a two nautical mile area in the sea around the area closed as a precaution "to prevent onlookers on boats and prevent the gases from affecting people," council's chief Mariano Hernandez told Cadena SER radio station.

He urged people attracted by the phenomenon to refrain from approaching to prevent a road collapse that has partly hampered the evacuation on Monday, Hernandez said.

The lava flow was initially expected to reach the shore on Monday evening, but its speed has fallen in recent hours.

lava flow

Lava has covered 103 hectares and destroyed 166 houses

As of Tuesday morning, the lava has covered 103 hectares and destroyed 166 houses, according to data released by the  European Union's Copernicus Emergency Management service.

Emergency authorities have said residents should not fear for their safety if they follow recommendations.

Volcanic lava spreads across La Palma

As the Gran Canaria volcano contines to spout lava the volcanic radius is growing, covering an ever-greater area of land on the island of La Palma. This footage captured by drone shows the lava creeping towards residential areas and destroying homes in the process. 

NEWS

When was the last time there was a volcanic eruption in the Canary Islands?

This is the first volcanic eruption in the Canary Islands for half a century.

We look back at the last time one of the islands' volcanoes erupted, back in 1971.

La Palma volcano eruption

Members of the media work as smoke rises on Tuesday following the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma.

REUTERS/Nacho Doce

Spanish king and queen to visit La Palma later this week

Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia will travel to La Palma on Thursday to visit the areas of the island affected by the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, royal sources have confirmed.

The monarchs will meet local governmental authorities and security services.

Meanwhile, it has also emerged that Pablo Casado, the leader of Spain’s opposition Popular Party, is set to visit La Palma on Wednesday.

More evacuations as lava pours from La Palma volcano

Lava pouring from the volcanic eruption on the island of La Palma has forced authorities to evacuate another part of El Paso, the town's mayor said on Tuesday.

People from the neighbourhood of Tacande Alto were evacuated late Monday and early Tuesday after a new stream of lava started flowing from another crack on the slope of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, Sergio Rodríguez told TV station TVE on Tuesday.

"The lava on its path to the sea has been a bit capricious and has diverted from its course," Rodríguez said.

About 6,000 of the 80,000 people living on the island have been forced to leave their homes to escape the eruption so far, TVE said.

No fatalities or injuries have been reported, but drone footage captured two tongues of black lava cutting a devastating swathe through the landscape as they advanced down the volcano's western flank towards the sea.

Experts say that if and when the lava reaches the sea, it could trigger more explosions and clouds of toxic gases. Marine authorities are keeping a two nautical mile area in the sea around the area closed as a precaution.

The lava flow was initially expected to reach the shore on Monday evening, but its speed has fallen in recent hours.

(Reuters)

Tsunami still "probable" but not likely to happen soon

The worrying bit of this text, posted by Kaya Burgess, who is a Science Reporter & Religious Affairs Correspondent at the Times, is "will fail at some point". Not if, but when. However it could be many eruptions down the line. 

 

The lava tongue in La Palma island is closing in on the seawater

As the Canary islands news agency says, the lava is destroying everything in its path as it heads to the Atlantic. 

Damages from eruption

According to Canary Islands president, Ángel Víctor Torres, the damage caused by the volcanic eruption on La Palma are "far higher" than 400 million euros. 

And that's just the damage caused so far. According to vulcanologists this eruption event could last several months, leading to an even greater financial impact. 

WORLD NEWS

La Palma volcano: what happens when the lava reaches the sea?

There's still no exact prediction for when the lava will reach the sea, according to Jose Antonio Conde, Harbour Master of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, who was talking to Spanish TV. It is likely that it will be in the coming hours, however. 

Lava Flow La Palma

Lava flow on La Palma

In this map created from data provided by the EU's Copernicus satellite the lava flow from the volcano can be seen. So far it has destroyed 166 homes and other properties and is expected to reach the sea in the coming hours. 

Cumbre Vieja tsunami hazard

While at the moment the damage caused by the eruption on La Palma has been limited to property damage (with multiple homes, properties and farmland destroyed), there is some risk of tsunami, though this would only occur in the catastrophic situation of a large landslide, which experts are not predicting is likely to occur in the immediate future. 

If you're keen to read more there is a well-documented page on the possibility of a tsunami over at wikipedia. 

The good news is that even if there were to be a tsunami, the evidence indicates that a multi-stage collapse at La Palma would likely result in smaller scale tsunamis, that would be unlikely to cross the Atlantic. 

Footage of new vent opening up late Monday

Here's video footage of a new vent appearing yesterday evening, as broadcast by local TV station Radio Televisión Canaria. This is the ninth active vent, and is located some 900 metres from the first.

Hello and welcome to our live feed covering the volcanic eruption in La Palma, one of the smaller Canary Islands.

The eruption started on Sunday at 10:10 am ET, after a week of seismic tremors, with a huge column of smoke rising above the Cumbre Vieja national park, before lava began pouring out of several vents.

Over 5,000 people have been evacuated from the area, and numerous homes, properties and farmland destroyed by lava, which is close to reaching the sea. There are fears of explosions when the lava hits the seawater, as well as the release of more toxic chemicals, and people are being warned to stay away from the area.

Authorities have put in place a nautical exclusion zone around the point where the lava is expected to enter the Atlantic. 

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