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La Palma volcano summary: 3 November 2021

Update:
In this handout photograph taken and released by the Spanish Military Emergency Unit (UME) on November 1, 2021, the Cumbre Vieja volcano is still spewing lava and ash, at night, on the Canary island of La Palma.

La Palma volcano: live updates

Headlines

- Volcano now into its seventh week of activity, having begun on 19 September

- Some La Palma schools limit on-site classes due to ash cloud

- Copernicus observations detect over 2,600 buildings in La Palma have been destroyed. No new buildings affected on 2 November

- Spanish government to provide further €70 million among its support measures

- New lava flowing into previously formed 'lava tunnels'

- Concerns about La Palma air quality following main cone collapse

Over 35,000 earthquakes and tremors recorded in La Palma over the past month

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?

Cumbre Vieja eruption: live video

Cumbre Vieja winding down?

Sulfur dioxide readings and a drop in volcanic tremors make experts feel the active Cumbre Vieja volcano may be ready to wind up.

El Remo residents allowd to recover possessions

The local La Palma council has confirmed that residents of the El Remo area will be allowed back to their homes and recover possessions as for the first time since it's 19 September eruption, experts feel that the Cumbre Vieja volcano may be close to ending it's activity.

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Beginning of the end for Cumbre Vieja?

Scientists monitoring the La Palma volcano confirm 'positive signs' that could anticipate that the end of the eruption is closer. Carmen López, spokesperson for the Scientific Committee of the Emergency Plan Volcánicas de Canarias (Pevolca), has highlighted the decrease in the tremor signal activity since Tuesday and that has been maintained over the past 24 hours.

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Solidarity T-shirts raise funds for La Palma volcano victims

Six weeks into the eruption on Spain's La Palma, several local organisations have begun selling T-shirts, tote bags and other merchandise to raise funds for those who have lost their homes or jobs to the volcano.

"The message is that La Palma will stay strong. This is just a small contribution to help people who've been affected," said Pedro Garcia, 47, who manages the Creaprint printing shop in Los Llanos de Aridane, the closest major town to the lava flow.

At his shop, a huge mechanised printer churns out the latest batch of black shirts emblazoned with a design of street signs listing some of the villages caught in the lava's path.

Observations of La Palma eruption

The Geological and Mining Institute of Spain is a research institute run under the auspices of the Ministry of Science has been following the eruption on La Palma along with other national and international agencies. You can check out all their latest updates about the Cumbre Vieja volcano which has been spewing lava for over six weeks.

Local businesses on La Palma join in solidarity with victims of eruption

Several initiatives have begun to help residents on La Palma who have lost everything, over 2,600 buildings have been swollowed up by the lava since Cumbre Vieja came alive 19 September. One such solidarity effort started by local organizations is selling T-shirts and other merchandise with imagery of areas affected by the natural disaster. All proceeds from the sales are dedicated to the victims of the eruption.

Mesmerizing images of La Palma lava flow

The use of drones to get close-up views of the lava flowing out of the Cumbre Vieja volcano have delivered spectacular footage. The contrast of the glowing red hot lava against the black of night can be hyponotic.

Residents on the US east coast can rest easy, no tsunami is coming

A paper from 2001 hypothosized that an eruption on La Palma could destabilize the western flank of the island sending a large chunk into the ocean causing a mega-tsunami. Since then tsunami modeling has "advanced considerably" according to USGS researchers.

In addition more studies have been performed to analyze underwater landslides around La Palma occur. They show that the amount of material displaced with each instance is quite small and would cause a surge that would be of little worry to residents on the US east coast.

Falling ash piling up to 20cm high

Falling ash spewing out of the erupting Cumbre Vieja volcano currently covers much of the Valle de Aridane, Radio Televisión Canaria reports. RTVC says ash is around 3-5cm deep on the ground, and is piling as much as 20cm high on the roofs of buildings.

Copernicus update efforts hampered by clouds

Copernicus, the EU’s Earth observation programme, says the image taken of La Palma by the Pleiades satellite was too cloudy to gain a clear image of the island. However, Copernicus says it is using an Italian Space Agency radar image to prepare updated figures on the evolution of the lava flow emanating from the Cumbre Vieja volcano.

Tourists queue to board a ferry leaving La Palma on November 3. 

All flights on the island have been cancelled over the past 48 hours due to the ash cloud from the volcano.

Authorities pledge financial aid to help sector

AP - La Palma, an island of 85,000, is the second-largest producer of bananas for the eight-member archipelago, which at its nearest point is 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Morocco.

Last year it produced 148,000 tons of the local banana, most of which were shipped to Spain’s mainland. While usually more expensive than imported bananas from Latin America and Africa, the smaller Canary Island banana is often preferred for its sweeter taste and meatier texture.

Authorities have pledged financial aid to help the sector and fund furloughs for workers. They have also promised to revise a law that says that new land formed by the lava is property of the state.

Banana farmers lose livelihoods as lava devours La Palma

AP - His home went first. Then the house his father built. Then the lottery stand and hardware store he owned succumbed.

Lastly, Antonio Álvarez had to watch as lava from a volcanic eruption slowly devoured the remaining pillar of his family’s wealth: the dozen acres he dedicated to growing the Canary Island banana that for generations has provided the agricultural lifeblood of the Atlantic Ocean archipelago.

“My father always told me ‘don’t make the house too big, it won’t make you money; invest in banana! The bananas will give you a house.’ And it’s true,” Álvarez said. “When I filmed (the lava destroying) my father’s house, it was seeing him die all over again. That house was a part of him.”

Full story

Houses covered in ash in La Palma.

Flights cancelled and schools shut after latest volcanic eruption

ITV - Authorities on the Spanish island of La Palma are telling people who live near an erupting volcano to stay indoors because of a heavy fall of ash that has forced the cancellation of flights and school classes.

Local air quality is “extremely unfavorable” because of high levels of small particles in the air, emergency services belonging to the Canary Islands government said in a statement late on Tuesday.

All flights to and from the island have been cancelled because of the falling ash, according to Spain’s national airport authority.

With flights cancelled, some tourists who came on a sightseeing trip to witness the eruption had to wait in long lines for ferries to leave the island on Wednesday.

Lightning in Cumbre Vieja ash cloud

In this video shared by the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute (Involcan), flashes of lightning can be seen in the ash cloud emanating from the erupting Cumbre Vieja volcano:

Where are most volcanoes located?

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 the most volcanoes located today?

Full details

Over a dozen lava streams recorded on La Palma volcano

There are currently over a dozen lava flows stemming from the volcano on La Palma although the majority of them have stopped moving. Rubén Fernández explained in today's press briefing that since the weekend, only lava flows number 3, 9 and 11 are active.

 

Volcanic bombs still causing concern in La Palma

Preocupan las bombas de lava

The rain of volcanic bombs which Cumbre Vieja has been spitting out for the past few days remain a cause of concern for authorities for the damage they have been causing. Volcanic bombs are large rocks of molten lava which are expelled at great velocity due to a build-up of gas and pressure inside the volcano.

Magnitude 5 earthquake recorded on Wednesday morning

This morning, shortly before 7:30 hours local time, La Palma was shaken by a magnitude 5 earthquake. The tremor occurred at 7:27 in Villa de Mazo, according to readings taken by the Spanish Geological Institute (IGNE). A magnitude 5 earthquake, classed as moderate, the strongest since Cumbre Vieja began errupting in September, rocked the island on Saturday

Some improvement in air quality

The quality of air in La Palma and particularly in Los Llanos de Aridane has seen some imporovement on Wednesday. The concentration of PM particles is under 10 micrograms per cubic metre, which places it in the orange category which is unhealthy for sensitive groups but an improvement on recent readings which were in the red level.

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981 hectares of land immersed by lava

Carmen López, spokesperson for PEVOLCA's Scientific Committee, gave an update on the damage caused on La Palma since Cumbre Vieja began errupting on 19 September. According to the latest figures, volcanic lava now covers a total of 981.02 hectares of land - 4.05 hectares more than the previous reading, with a maximum width of 3,100 metres.

La Palma

Latest damage estimates

The number of buildings which have been either destroyed or severely damage by the volcanic erruption stands at 1.443, according to data released by Catastro. Of those, 1,166 are residential homes, 147 are buildings related to agriculture, 69 industrial constructions, 33 for leisure and hospitality services, 13 for public use and 15  for other uses.

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Juan Carlos Pérez, administrator of theCanary IslandsInstitute of Astrophysics, shows the ash column spewing from the Cumbre Vieja volcano as seen from the viewpoint of Roque De Los Muchachos on La Palma.

The eruption of Cumbre Vieja has been disrupting activity at the Roque de Los Muchachos observatory.

Photo: REUTERS/Borja Suarez

Ash continues to wreak havoc on La Palma

The lava flows from Cumbre Vieja have made huge swathes of the island's road system impassable and the ash from the volcano is having a similar effect, as these images from the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute show.

Expanse of La Palma lava flow

The European Union Copernicus Emergency Management Service released its latest map of the lava flow on La Palma from 2 November. Over 2,600 buildings have now been destroyed. Molten rock from the eruption now covers 997.9 hectares with the most recent flows spreading out from the southern edge.

In good news, the EU earth observatory reported no new buildings had been destroyed in the previous 24 hours.

Dramatic photo as young family watch eruption

Reuters' photos of the week includes this one showing a woman climbing a hill with a child to see the Cumbre Vieja volcano as it continues to erupt in Tacande de Arriba.

Some La Palma school classes suspended

The Ministry of Education, Universities, Culture and Sports of the Government of the Canary Islands said on Tuesday that on-site classes are suspended in the schools of five municipalities of La Palma due to the high levels of ash.

Classes will be online in El Paso, Los Llanos de Aridane, Tazacorte, Tijarafe and Puntagorda, as a consequence of the ash expelled by the Cumbre Vieja volcano.

How many structures have been destroyed in La Palma?

Spanish authorities have reported that more than 2,500 structures have been destroyed during the eruption. With no end in sight, new areas are threatened as new lava flows and mouths emerge.

Lava bombs explode from Cumbre Vieja volcano

New images capture a close up look at "lava bombs" that have begun to emerge from the volcano in La Palma.

Lava tubes overflow

Incredible footage taken on Tuesday shows pools of molten rock feeding the lava tubes overflowing and spreading over the lower part of the Cumbre Vieja volcanic cone.

Spanish Navy studies possibility of bringing farmers to their plots

The lava flow on La Palma has spread over more than 987 hectares as of 1 November forcing thousands of residents from their homes and farms. This week the Spanish Navy will determine whether it is feasible using military boats to land farmers and workers near Puerto Naos in areas cut off by the lava field so that they can check on their plots and irrigation systems.

What to do with all the volcanic ash

The Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma has now covered over 3,000 hectares with over 10 million cubic meters of ash since it began erupting 19 September. Crews and residents do what they can to remove the grit from buildings, roads and just about any other surface blackened by the material. 

One local company that has four decades of experience treating construction materials is collecting the ash in hopes of using it to fertilize crops in the area. The volcanic ash is rich in calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium, minerals that could benefit the banana, avocado and grape crops on the island. 

Visual of seismic activity on La Palma

Programmer and self-described data graphics addict Pdero Suarez presents a 30 second visual of the seismic activity on La Palma staring the week before the eruption on Cumbre Vieja continuing through to 1 November.

Inside the Cumbre Vieja cauldron

Dramatic drone footage looking into the cauldron of Cumbre Vieja demonstrating the fury of the eruption on La Palma. The volcano has been spewing lava for 47 days since breaking through the surface 19 September. 

La Palma

Solidarity tourism on La Palma

Solidarity tourism on La Palma

Olga Reinoso took advantage of the All Saints Day public holiday to see the erupting volcano on La Palma but like other tourists she wanted to help islanders whose homes have been destroyed and crops ruined.

Tourists are keen to help La Palma by  spending money to boost the island's economy.

"In a passive way, our way to help is to come here to visit the volcano, which is something unique, but we contribute with money by spending money at hotel, restaurants, car rental,” Reinoso, who is from the nearby island of Fuerteventura, told Reuters.

The Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca) has restricted access to the roads near the Cumbre Vieja volcano so that security and emergency teams can operate unhindered.

However, Pevolca has set up a free bus service so visitors can access the volcano area from a safe distance.

Since the eruption began on September 19, lava from the volcano has covered nearly 900 hectares (2,200 acres) of land, destroying around 2,000 buildings and many banana plantations. More than 7,000 people have had to evacuate their homes.

Photo: AFP PHOTO / LUISMI ORTIZ / SPANISH MILITARY UNIT (UME)

Hello and welcome to our live blog for Wednesday 3 November 2021, bringing you the latest updates and information on the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma.

Despite the fact that many believed it would be short-lived when the lava first started flowing on 19 September, the volcano has yet to let up. Experts say there is little sign of an end to the eruption but we'll keep you up to date with developments.

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