La Palma volcano eruption news summary: 7 October 2021
La Palma volcano eruption: latest news
- Spanish King Felipe VI holds video call with Pevolca, abandons plans to travel to La Palma
- A 4.3 magnitude earthquake was recorded on Thursday, following 16 earth tremors on Wednesday night
- Researchers announce that the volcano’s main cone has collapsed, increasing the lava flow
- Lava now covers over 422 hectares, according to Spain's Dept of National Security (DSN)
- Last week the lava reached the sea, forming huge delta on La Palma coast
- Delta currently almost 38 hectares in size, DSN says
- More than 1,000 buildings affected by the lava flow, with 6,000 people evacuated
- Volcanologist speaks to AS about the effects of lava reaching the sea
- An overview of the active volcanoes on the Canary Islands
- When was the last volcanic eruption on the Canary Islands?
Related news articles:
Sulphur dioxide clouds reach the Caribbean
The large cloud of sulphur dioxide exmitted by Cumbre Vieja has reached another continent, according to the images captured by the Copernicus satellite yesterday, gases from the volcano have drifted across the Atlantic and have been recorded in the Caribbean.
40 earth tremors recorded on Friday
The National Geographic Institute (IGN) reported 40 seismic tremors on La Palma so far on Friday, one of which with a magnitude of 3.8 in Fuencaliente, where 33 of the 40 tremors registered today have taken place, the rest were in Mazo. Another intense tremor, 3.8 in magnitude occurred in Mazo at 4:31 hours this morning.
Lava now covers 431.2 hectares
The area covered by molten lava from Cumbre Vieja now extends over 431.2 hectares, destroying houses, crops and forests; the magma has also left 26.47 kilometres of motorway buried.
La Palma ariport forced to close again
Ash from the volcano which has been erupting from the island of La Palma has left authorities with little option but the close the local airport again. The volcano has now been active for nearly three weeks but still the island's inhabitants appear no closer to a return to normal and the shutting of the airport will make it more difficult for locals to leave the island if required.
Tectonic shifts explain the Canary Islands' geography
The neat little video from El Pais demostrates how the constantly shifting tectonic plates beneath the Canary Islands have produced the area's unique island constellations. This process also, of course, was responsible for the ongoing eruptions on the island of La Palma which has now covered well over 400 hectares of land with lava.
The Canary Islands from NASA's Terra and Modis satellites.
The images show the ash coming from the volcano on La Palma.
La Palma island expands
The surface of La Palma island is expanding as lava from the volcano that erupted in September has reached the sea.
The underwater ‘hotspot’ feeding La Palma’s volcano will create new islands
The magma flow that shaped Spain’s Canaries archipelago 20 million years ago continues to add landmass, while Fuerteventura and Lanzarote are destined to sink under the effects of erosion.
La Palma airport closed
General view of the closed and empty airport after all flights were cancelled, on the Canary Island of La Palma, on October 7, 2021, as clouds of thick ash from the erupting volcano on La Palma forced the island's airport to close for the second time since the September 19 eruption.
Photo: Jorge Guerrero / AFP
Taxi drivers wait outside the closed La Palma airport after all flights were cancelled on Thursday, as a result of clouds of thick ash from the erupting Cumbre Vieja volcano.
(Photo by JORGE GUERRERO / AFP)
In the last 1,000 years, the only eruptions in Spain have happened in the Canary Islands. This is due to their relative youth amongst volcanoes, with Cumbre Vieja being a mere 125,000 years old. They are still in the stage of volcano development, which means eruptions can still happen.
Volcanic activity "more explosive"
The Canary Islands Volcanology Institute (Involcan) has reported that the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano has become "more explosive" in recent hours.
The Cumbre Vieja volcano spews lava, ash and smoke on Thursday. Clouds of thick ash from the erupting volcano on La Palma forced the island's airport to close for the second time since the September 19 eruption.
(Photo by JORGE GUERRERO / AFP)
Pevolca holds video call with Spanish king on latest situation in La Palma
Spain’s King Felipe VI, who is currently on the island of Tenerife, held a video call with representatives of the Canary Islands Plan for Volcanic Emergencies (Pevolca) on Thursday, to discuss the latest situation on La Palma.
El País reports that the king had considered travelling to La Palma from Tenerife, but was forced to abandon the plan after the island’s airport was closed on Thursday morning to the accumulation of volcanic ash in the air.
La Palma volcano eruption: live video
You can watch a live video feed of the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano here:
The situation in La Palma to remain unchanged until Saturday
In today's press briefing, María José Blanco. Director at the National Geographical Institute (IGN) explained that no changes to the current situation in La Palma are expected until the weekend at the earliest. "During the whole of Wednesday, levels of sulphur dioxide remained high, reaching levels of 13,100 tonnes per day. At the moment, as of 6 October, emissions of carbon dioxide from Cumbre Vieja was recorded 1,596 tonnes per day. We saw an increase in concentration of SO2 levels in the readings taken at Tazacorte, Los Llanos and El Paso. Particurly at El Paso were the maximum reading 667mg/m3 at 7 o'clock in the morning, exceeding the limit of 500 on two consecutive occasions".
Air quality deteriorates as SO2 levels rise
Officials have warned any residents with respiratory issues on La Palma to stay indoors as levels of sulphur dioxide have risen on Thursday. "As for the quality of air, the classification can be broken down to very good, good, average, bad or very bad. At the moment the air quality can be described as average. Today, we are urging stricter measures, concerning all of those who might have lung complaints, asthma, those with cardiac or respiratory problems - we ask them not to venture out of the house on to the street at all. If they do have to go out onto the street, that they use FFP2 face masks and remain out for the least time possible," Miguel Ángel Morcuende told reporters this afternoon.
Latest aerial images of the delta
Here is some of the latest drone footage of the delta formed off the coast of La Palma which continues to extend out into the Atlantic Ocean. The 25-metre high delta spans over 36 hectares. José Mangas, geologists at ULPGC explained that the landmass will continue to grow. "It will end up gaining a lot of terrain to the north and the south, and at the same time reaching deeper zones."
"It is not foreseeable that anyone else will have to be evacuated. The lava is moving towards the coast and the damage will be material. According to experts there are about 17-20 million cubic meters of lava."
Moderate earthquake recorded in Villa de Mazo
An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.3 on the mbLg scale was recorded shortly after noon on Thursday in Villa de Mazo, La Palma. The National Geographic Institute have requested residents to contact them if the earthquake, rated moderate, was felt in other parts of the island.
Cumbre Vieja has entered its "mature phase" says researchers
Cumbre Vieja has stabilised and is now in a "mature phase" as it enters the 19th day of acitivity. However María José Blanco, Director at the National Geographical Institute (IGN) explained that the volcano is not expected to stop errupting anytime soon but that should not be a cause for alarm. "I think media exposure and understanding of of volcanic phenomena puts the minds of the public at peace, and that is a good thing. We live in a zone which is volcanically active so we have to know what is normal and usual and distinguish between other, different kinds of volcanic behaviour," she explained.
NASA detect lenticular cloud formations in La Palma
NASA's Terra satellite has captured images of lenticular clouds forming above Cumbre Vieja via its Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Photo: NASA.
La Palma airport closed due to formation of large ash cloud
La Palma airport was closed on Thursday morning as a precaution. Airport operator Aena said the airport was ‘inoperative’ due to the accumulation of ash. The airport has been temporarily closed since Cumbre Vieja started errupting 19 days ago.
La Palma registered 16 earth tremors during Wednesday night
Spain's National Geographic Institute recorded 16 tremors during Wednesday night and Thursday morning - five of them of a magnitude over 3 on the mbLg scale. The largest magnitude registered was 3.5 mbLg in Villa de Mazo at 01:33 hours this morning.
La Palma volcanic ash for sale on Ebay
Some enterprising islanders are finding ways of cashing in on Cumbre Vieja's recent activity. Some have put small jars of volcanic ash from La Palma on sale on Ebay. For 10 euros, you can buy an eight-gramme jar of volcanic ash as a unique, original present.
Spanish king visits La Palma
Spanish king Felipe VI arrived in La Palma this morning, to present the gold medal of Royal Academy of Fine Arts San Miguel Arcángel to the Canary Islands parliament and also to get a clearer picture of the situation on the island following the volcanic erruption.
La Palma volcano eruption, live updates: welcome
Hello and welcome to our live blog for Thursday 7 October 2021, bringing you the latest updates and information on the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma.