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La Palma volcano | News summary for Friday 20 November

La Palma volcano | News summary for Friday 20 November

Cumbre Vieja volcano: latest updates


- First V-VI intensity earthquake recorded on La Palma

- New district with space for 543 houses proposed

- Cumbre Vieja eruption has been active for two months, having started on 19 September

- Thursday saw number of tremors spike, with over 300 recorded in 24 hours

- Largest earthquake since eruption began - magnitude 5.1 - registered on Friday morning

- Volunteer worker killed in exclusion zone while cleaning volcanic ash

- Surface area of lava flow now covers over 1,042 hectares

- More than 2,600 buildings have been damaged by the lava flow

- Delta formed in Atlantic Ocean by lava flows now covers over 40 hectares

- Around 7,000 of the island's 85,000 residents have been evacuated

Useful information

- AS speaks to expert in volcanology about the effects of lava reaching the sea

- The lowdown on the active volcanoes on the Canary Islands

- Where are most volcanoes found on Earth?

La Palma eruption: related articles

Cumbre Vieja hits alert level 3

Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma experienced a surge in activity at the weekend, with PEVOLCA technicians giving it an alert level rating of between 2 and 3. On the scale of 1 to 8, a volcanic alert level of 3 is classified as a minor erruption with the possibility of damage occurring to the cone, chamber and flanks. 

To date, the volcano has emitted over 10 million cubic metres of gas, ash and tephra - but the erruptive mechanism has not changed, nor has it become more explosive.

Three lava streams remain active, spreading to new terrain between flows 4 and 7 where lava has advanced approximately 130 metres.

La Palma UME

UME clean-up operation continues

This image shows the extent of the work which the Spanish Military Emergency Unit (UME) are having to deal with as part of the ongoing clean-up operation. The UME remove piles of ash every day as well as monitoring gas emissions in La Palma. Over 6,000 people have been evacuated from their homes since the volcano began errupting over two ago.

Photo: Luismi Ortiz / AFP)

Aerial drone footage of "fog sea" enveloping Cumbre Vieja

The Spanish Geological and Mining Institute have provided these drone images taken at altitude of the sea of fog which covers large part of Cumbre Vieja volcano. The volcano has been particular active during a wet and rainy weekend, in which it rose to alert level 3.

Binter cancel all flights to and from La Palma until Monday

Binter have announced that it has cancelled all of its flights to and from La Palma until 13:30 hours local time on Monday. The carrier advises travellers to check updates if they are planning a trip to the island.

3D flyover of lava expansion and La Palma

The lava flowing out of Cumbre Vieja on La Palma covered just over two more hectares of land not already buried under previous layers of molten rock. Pedro Suarez who has been producing 3D images of the ongoing natural disaster took the opportunity to use his latest video to give viewers a flyover of the rest of the island as well.

Satellite imagery of Cumbre Vieja

This snapshot taken by the EU's Sentinel-2 earth monitoring satellite shows the extent of the ash plume and lava coverage on La Palma. 

Lava flows continue inexorable advance

This latest footage from Involcan shows the new lava flows caused by another partial collapse of the upper part of the Cumbre Vieja continuing to extend across La Palma on Saturday night.

From earlier this week: dust devil next to volcano

On Monday this week, a photographer on the island of La Palma caught striking images of a dust devil, a form of whirlwind, next to the Cumbre Vieja volcano:


Charity wrestling event raises funds for island

As reported by Diario AS’ Santiago Castañeda, a charity wrestling tournament was held in La Palma on Saturday evening, in a bid to raise funds for those affected by the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano.

Three teams were involved, representing the areas Los Llanos de Aridane, El Paso and Tazacorte. The event’s motto was “everyone with La Palma”.


Where are most volcanoes located?

In this report, AS USA's Greg Heilman takes a look at how volcanoes are created, and where on planet Earth they are most likely to be found.

(Photo: Miguel Calero/EFE)

Live images of eruption from drone

Here are further aerial images of the Cumbre Vieja eruption and the lava flowing from the volcano, courtesy of Radio Televisión Canarias:

La Palma

Lava continues to flow from Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma

The eruption on La Palma has been going for over two months, starting 19 September, displacing over 6,000 residents and damaging thousands of homes and businesses. This picture by Luismi Ortiz and the Spanish Military Unit (UME) published by AFP gives a view of the lava flow in Las Manchas. Radio Television Canarias broadcast drone footage of an evening flyover of the lava field.

Cumbre Vieja now VEI-3 eruption

Involcan reports that the Cumbre Vieja eruption has been re-graded on the Volcanic Explosivity Index to a level VEI-3 event, which is classified as Vulcanian and displaying "substantial" tropospheric injection. The Canary Islands Emergency Volcano Plan (Pevolca) upgraded the eruption after fresh evaluations, but as Involcan notes, this does not mean the eruption will get worse or change its current behaviour.

Binter announce La Palma flight suspension

The airline Binter has announced the suspension of the rest of the flights scheduled for this Saturday to the island of La Palma due to the accumulation of ash. This decision is linked to the problems of being able to operate at the airport with the weather conditions making any air activity impossible.

Via its website, the company has ensured customers can check the status of their flights. On the other hand, the company has communicated that the assessment of the situation will continue with the aim of resuming operations safely and when the conditions are more favourable.

Increased magnitude of Cumbre Vieja

The Scientific Committee has reevaluated the magnitude of the Cumbre Vieja volcano eruption, which has gone from a value two to three, but it does not mean that there is a greater explosiveness or that any variation has been seen in the strombolian type of the eruption.

Carmen López, volcanologist of the IGN, stated that "the magnitude can be established on a scale of zero to 8, which is calculated from the volume of pyroclastic material emitted".

La Palma seismic update

The following video has been shared by with data from IGN Spain showing the eruptive seismic activity on the island.
The two active zones have been separated where the depth detail is seen:

The intermediate zone (10-14 km) on the left.
The deep zone (31-39 km) on the right.

First V-VI intensity earthquake recorded on La Palma

This morning, La Palma recorded the first earthquake with an intensity of V-VI since Cumbre Vieja began errupting on 19 September. The event occurred at 10.19 hours in Villa de Mazo, with a magnitude of 4.6. On the The PHIVOLCS Earthquake Intensity Scale (PEIS), V-VI intensity is classified as "strong to very strong".

El comité científico del Plan de Emergencias Volcánicas de Canarias (Pevolca) ha advertido en numerosas ocasiones que existe la posibilidad de terremotos de intensidad VI. 

New district with space for 543 houses proposed

One of the positives of the volcanic erruption on La Palma is that the island is now slightly larger than it was before 19 September. The platform for those who have been affected by the volcano presented their proposal for the creation of a new neighbourhood, just south of La Manchas. The new district, provisionally named Cumbre Nueva, will boast 543 houses on area measuring 400.000 m2 which will be built when the volcano ceases activity. It will also have other amenities, including a school, shopping centre, health centre, town square and a church.

Striking image of La Palma volcano errupting

One of the most striking images we have seen of Cumbre Vieja volcano errupting take by Miguel Calero, photographer who works for Spanish news agency EFE.

Thermal imaging video shows Cumbre Vieja in full erruption mode

More excellent video footage from INVOLCAN. Here we see Cumbre Vieja spewing out lava taken through the lens of a thermal imaging video camera. The images were taken on Friday at 13:00 hours local time.

Spanish PM pledges further 4M euros in funds to aid La Palma

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has requested help from the European Union's solidarity fund and announced that a further 4 million euros in funds will go to repair the island's water supply network which has suffered damages following the volcanic erruption on La Palma. He added that the government will request 74.45 million euros in funds from the EU.

Technicians expect new emission points emerge on Cumbre Vieja

Technicians from PEVOLCA gave an update on the situation on La Palma and have not ruled out new emission points emerging on Cumbre Vieja volcano. Lava flows numbers 4 and 7 remain active and have been extending over new ground during the past 24 hours. Seismic activity has been constant and there is a real possibility of a magnitude V or VI earth tremor.

Rainfall causes huge plumes of smoke from Cumbre Vieja

This dramatic footage shows the effects of recent rainfall while Cumbre Vieja errupts. Rain started on Thursday and continued on Friday. Shown here in a video taken from the Jable observation deck by CSIC biologist Manuel Nogales a huge column of gases, ash and tephra shooting out of the volcano.

Binter temporarily stop flights to and from La Palma

Binter confirmed that due to the evolution of the ash cloud billowing out of Cumbre Vieja, all of the carrier's flights have been temporarily stopped - including one flight scheduled for 13:00 hours this afternoon.

Life returns to Cumbre Vieja

Following the news earlier this week that a colony of bees had survived the eruption by sealing themselves into their hive, local news media brings us these images of some of the indigenous fauna on La Palma tentatively testing out their former stomping ground.

5.1 magnitude tremor felt in Mazo

There has been daily tremors and minor earthquakes on the island of La Palma since Cumbre Vieja erupted on 19 September with the largest tremor taking place today in Villa de Mazo with the quake registering 5.1 on the Richter scale early on Thursday morning.


Lava advancing at 20m per hour

Worries on the island increase as a new lava flow has intensified and started to make its way towards homes and agricultural areas. PEVOLCA technicians explained that la flows numbers 4 and 7 are the only one which continue to spread while the others remain static for now.

La Palma

Sea of fog settles on Cumbre Vieja

La Palma saw the first rain of the autumn on Friday - the first time the heavens have opened since Cumbre Vieja began errupting on 19 September. It brought with a strange phenomenon - raindrops evaporated on contact with with the numerous lava flows to form columns of vapour or "white feathers" as they are know at Spain's Geological and Mining Institute (IGME).

A "sea of fog" covers practically the whole of the volcano's cone as heat from the molten lava streams mean that raindrops evaporate in the air before they even get a chance to land on solid ground. The forecast for rain was another reason why the alert level was raised to yellow. There is concern for the recent rainfall on the island as the water mixes with volcanic ash to form a black paste, similar in consistency to cement, which can block drains and cause other damage.

Cumbre Vieja eruption live updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live blog for Saturday 20 November 2021, bringing you the latest news and information on the ongoing eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma.


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