La Palma volcano eruption | news summary for Friday 8 October

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La Palma volcano eruption: live updates

Headlines

- Lava flow now covers surface area of 480 hectares, according to Copernicus

- Last week the lava reached the sea, forming huge delta on La Palma coast

- Delta currently over 38 hectares in size, Spain's Department of National Security says

- 4.3 magnitude earthquake registered on Thursday

- More than 1,100 buildings destroyed by the lava flow, with 6,000 people evacuated

Useful information

- 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:

Volcano

More buildings engulfed by lava on La Palma

Buildings near the volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma were engulfed by rivers of lava early on Saturday, with the drama of the red-hot eruption intensified by the spectacle of flashes of lightning. The magma destroyed at least four buildings in the village of Callejon de la Gata, Reuters witnesses said.

There were a series of 37 seismic movements on Saturday, with the largest measuring 4.1, the Spanish National Geological Institute said. The erruption has destroyed more than 800 buildings and forced the evacuation of about 6,000 people from their homes on the island.

Lightning flashes were seen near the eruption early on Saturday. A study published in 2016 by the journal Geophysical Research Letters found lightning can be produced during volcanic eruptions because the collision of ash particles creates an electrical charge.

Cumbre Vieja

The main lava flow has split in two

Molten lava from the volcano continues on its path of destruction with reports this morning that the main flow of lava has split into two trails flowing down towards the Atlantic Ocean. 

volcano

180 tremors detected on La Palma since Wednesday

The National Geographic  Institute (IGN) has logged 180 earth tremor in or around the zone affected by Cumbre Vieja's errruption since 10:00 hours on 6 October; 56 of them have been felt and reported by residents on the island.

Produce buyers voice concern over quality of banana exports

Concerns have been raised about the quality of batches of bananas being exported to mainland Spain from the Canary Islands with complaints that much of the fruit shows damage from the volcanic ash emitted during the past couple of weeks by Cumbre Vieja.

 

 

Lava flows dangerously close to house in La Palma

A video uploaded onto social media by INVOLCAN shows a trail of molten lava creeping just metres away from a house in Hoyo de Todoque, La Palma. Lava from Cumbre Vieja has enveloped almost 472 hectares on the land, destroying everything in its path.

ash la palma

Is it legal to collect and sell volcanic ash?

Last week, some enterprising residents on La Palma began putting small vials of volcanic ash from Cumbre Vieja for sale on Ebay for prices between 10 and 20 euros. But is it legal to collect and sell ash samples online? In Spain, as in most countries, removing or being in possession of any natural mineral is illegal and could result in a fine of up to 5,000 euros.

La Palma eruption creating over 40 tons of hydrochloric acid per day

As the lava pouring out of Cumbre Vieja reaches the ocean the 1,200º C molten rock chemically reacts with the saltwater to produce hydrochloric acid. Researchers estimate that the plume coming off the ocean pumped the equivalent of 43.2 tons of the toxic gas into the air on Wednesday.

Potential for delta collapse into the sea

There is a new worry for those affected by the volcanic eruption on La Palma. The lava has now extended over 500 meters into the ocean and the front portion of the delta could potentially collapse into the ocean. 

Any collapse of the delta would trigger new explosions and the creation of additional quantities of toxic gases as a surge of lava mixes with the saltwater.

People not the only ones made homeless by eruption

The eruption on La Palma forced some 6,000 residents from their homes. Unfortunately, not all of them were able to take their pets with them to where they were relocated. Efforts are underway to provide shelter for those pets that couldn't go with their owners, providing them with foster homes until they can be reunited.

Thermal view of ongoing eruption in La Palma

The volcanic cone on Cumbre Vieja on the island of La Palma continues to spew lava nearly four weeks since it began. 

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, as shown over the past three weeks, some are still active.

Find out more

La Palma sheep evacuated volcano

A volunteer in El Paso, La Palma, moves a sheep evacuated from the areas affected by the eruption on Friday.

(Photo by JORGE GUERRERO / AFP)

Over 1,100 buildings destroyed on La Palma - Copernicus

According to the latest update released by Copernicus, the EU’s satellite observation programme, the lava flow from the Cumbre Vieja volcano now covers a surface area of 480.5 hectares, and has led to the destruction of 1,149 buildings.

These figures were compiled using an image taken on Thursday lunchtime UTC.

SCIENCE | VOLCANOES

Where are most volcanoes located?

Volcanism is responsible for over 80 percent of Earth’s surface both above and below sea level, but where are most volcanoes located today?

Find out more

CV

Approximately 50% of houses affected by volcano are not insured claim El Pais

El Pais journalist Iñigo de Barron reports that the local insurance sector has confirmed that only 50% of the houses damaged by the Cumbre Vieja eruption are covered by an insurance policy with those not insured now hoping that public donations can contribute to losses suffered.

27,921 Christmas lottery number in high demand

Spaniards are very superstitious when it comes to numbers for the annual 'El Gordo' lottery with the number which corresponds with the Cumbre Vieja eruption 27,921 (27 September, 2021) providing popular with the number selling out in many establishments across the Penninsula.

More flight disruption as Vueling cancel all La Palma flights

Vueling airlines have confirmed that all flights to and from La Palma (along with Tenerife North) over the weekend have been cancelled due to the ash cloud that is hampering air travel in the archipelago.

CV

Cumbre Vieja at night

The night-time photographs really showcase the natural force, power and colur of the volcano as this selection from Getty's Juan Medina showcases

La P

La Palma volcanic ash cloud disrupts Tenerife flights

Ash cloud from the Cumbre Vieja volcano on Spain's La Palma disrupted air traffic on the neighbouring island of Tenerife, airport operator Aena stated on Friday, a day after it closed the La Palma airport.

Tenerife's northern airport remains open and planes can safely land and take off, but several flights were cancelled or diverted to the island's southern terminal, an Aena spokesperson told Reuters.

La Palma's airport will remain closed until 1 p.m. on Saturday at the earliest, she said. Local airline Binter Canarias said it had cancelled services to and from the northern airport on Friday and diverted a flight to the southern one.

The airport in La Palma closed for one day on Sept. 25 to allow workers to clear ash from the runway. The volcano has been blasting out jets of red-hot lava for more than two weeks, laying waste to hundreds of buildings and farms, and forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents.

A decade ago, most of Europe's airspace was closed due to an ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland, causing airlines billions of euros in lost revenue.

CD Tenerife to donate ticket sales to La Palma fund

La Palma's neighbouring island Tenerife and their second division soccer team (CD Tenerife) will donate all gate receipts from this weekend's LaLiga SmartBank clash against SD Amorebieta towards the island disaster fund.

Lava carves through land in Hoyo de Todoque

The Canary Islands Volcanology Institute has released footage of the ease with which lava flowing from the Cumbre Viejo volcano carves through land on La Palma. The emission of molten rock from the volcano can reach temperatures of 1,000º Celsius (1,830º Farenheit).

la palma

Volcanic ash darkens salt flats on La Palma

A blanket of volcanic ash has turned Andres Hernandez's pristine white salt flats black, ruining about a third of his annual production in the past two weeks since the Cumbre Vieja volcano erupted on the Spanish island of La Palma.

The Hernandez family is used to living under the threat of volcanoes - in La Palma's last eruption 50 years ago, lava stopped just 200 metres short of his family's saltworks, putting them out of business for two years.

Now, Hernandez, a third-generation salt flat owner, is resolved to cleaning up and carrying on making salt.

"It will take lots of work but we will be able to recover this area," he told Reuters, adding that many islanders were far less lucky as they had lost their homes and livelihoods.

The volcano, 18 km (11 miles) from the saltworks in Fuencaliente, has been blasting out jets of lava and ash since 19 September 19, destroying hundreds of buildings and farms and forcing the evacuation of thousands of people.

But the economic damage has yet to be properly evaluated.

"When the ash fell we were about to collect the salt, but it completely covered everything creating a crust on top and we cannot separate the salt from the ash. It has completely penetrated the grain. It's impossible to separate," Hernandez said, adding that up to 200 tonnes of salt had been ruined.

The eruption has also deterred visitors to the saltworks, which are also one of the island's tourist attractions.

"As owners of this place who live here we feel very sad to see the salt flats in this condition. It looks abandoned, with no activity," Hernandez said.

But the salt flats will survive. "Our experience with volcanoes goes (back) a long way, many generations," he said.

Photo: REUTERS/Juan Medina

This graphic shows how the lava flow from the Cumbre Vieja eruption has evolved since the volcano erupted on 19 September.

Flights to Tenerife North cancelled

All of the airports on the Canary Islands remain operative, although there have been several cancellations and flights being diverted to Tenerife South due to the vast cloud of volcanic ash being produced by Cumbre Vieja on La Palma. Flight operator Binter has cancelled four flights to Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and El Hierro. A number of flights from Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia have been diverted to Tenerife South.

Ash being deposited over Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The Canary Islands Meteorologic Agency reports on Friday that ash from Cumbre Vieja has reached neighbouring Santa Cruz de Tenerife, around 163 kilometres to the east.

World News

How many active volcanoes are there in the Canary Islands?

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.

Full story here

Sulphur dioxide

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.

la palma

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.

Delta La Palma

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.

What happens when lava meets the sea?

Molten lava reaches temperatures of between 800 and 1200ºC. It reacts with salt sea water, making it boil and forming plumes of gases containing fine particles of hydrochloric acid known as laze

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. 

Gas scanners repositioned

Scanners which can detect and record levels of sulphur dioxide have been repositioned on La Palma due to changing weather conditions which have changed the direction that gas clouds are being blown.

La Palma delta

La Palma landmass is growing larger

The surface of La Palma island is expanding as lava from the volcano that erupted in September has reached the sea. A new delta has formed on the southern coast of the island as can clearly be shown in this image.

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.

Full story via El País here

La Palma airport

La Palma airport remains closed

General view of the closed and empty airport after all flights were cancelled, on the Canary Island of La Palma yesterday, 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. At the moment, access to the island is only possible via boat.

La Palma volcano eruption, live updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live blog for Friday 8 October 2021, bringing you the latest updates and information on the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja

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