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La Palma volcano summary: 11 December 2021

In this handout photograph taken and released by the Spanish Military Emergency Unit (UME) on November 28, 2021 the Cumbre Vieja volcano spews lava, ash and smoke on the Canary island of La Palma.

La Palma Cumbre Vieja volcano: 11 December

Droning over La Palma

More footage taken this morning (at 8:30 am Canarian time, 2:30 am ET) from the Mirador de Las Hoyas.

La Palma under 10 earthquakes

The National Geographic Institute has registered just eight earthquakes in La Palma this morning.

This shows seismic activity is very low and much reduced compared to recent weeks. Two of the tremors have exceeded a magnitude of 3, while the most powerful was 3.2 with an epicenter in Villa de Mazo, taking place at 5.21 a.m. local time at a depth of 36 kilometres.

'Cumbre Vieja ain't done yet' caution volcano experts

Experts from scientific organisations, such as the National Geographic Institute and the Spanish Geological and Mining Institute, have agreed in calling for caution regarding the volcanic eruption of La Palma.

They have stated that since it is a process in nature it is one that can reverse without much notice, this news coming as we have seen a downward trend of energy in recent days.

The scientists spoke to the media after participating in a carefully managed visit to the slopes of the Cumbre Vieja volcano.

Volcanic morning

What did you see when you opened the curtains this morning?

I'm guessing it wasn't something like this, unless you're arising from your slumber in La Palma, of course!

Dept. of National Security update on Cumbre Vieja eruption

According to the latest update provided by Spain’s Department of National Security:

- the Cumbre Vieja volcano continues to emit lava that is flowing over previous flows and is not affecting new areas of the surface of La Palma

- the surface area affected by the lava flow continues to be estimated at 1,184 hectares, with a maximum width of 3,350 metres.

- per figures provided by the EU’s Copernicus Earth observation programme, 3,046 buildings have been damaged by the lava flows

- seismic activity remains low

- emissions of sulphur dioxide continue to decrease

- conditions are favourable for the operation of flights in and out of La Palma on Sunday

Scientists call for caution with Cumbre Vieja waning

Various scientists, including those at the National Geographic Institute and the Geological and Mining Institute are urging caution with the situation on La Palma after speculation that Cumbre Vieja could be running out of steam. They aregue that the volcano's reduction in activity is a natural process which could completely change in the next few days.

PEVOLCA'S Jorge Parra explained, "Work on the new motorway which is being built to connect Las Norias and Puerto Naos has had to stop due to a large emission of gases,” adding that the road is also under threat from lava streams on the south side of the volcano.


Cumbre Vieja in numbers

7,000 people have been evacuated from their homes since the 19 September eruption with 1,173 hectares of land on the island affected and damages of more than 900 million euro experienced since September.


Seven quakes recorded overnight

Only seven minor earth quakes were recorded on the island of La Palma from Friday through to Saturday morning and this keeps with the trend of diminishing seismic overnight activity on the island.

Watch Cumbre Vieja live


Too early to call time on Cumbre Vieja

EFE - While earth tremors, which indicate fluid movement, and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions, which indicates that there is magma near the surface, persist Cumbre Vieja will remain active even if seismicity remains low, experts have said.

For the end of the Cumbre Vieja eruption to be considered close, these two parameters have to be at zero or very close to zero, which is not yet the case on La Palma despite the number of tremors and SO2 levels becoming increasingly lower, Pevolca’s scientific spokesperson, María José Blanco, said on Saturday.


cumbre vieja

The Cumbre Vieja volcano, pictured from Los Llanos de Aridane, spews ash and smoke on the Canary island of La Palma on December 10, 2021.


Cumbre Vieja eruption: live aerial video

The local broadcaster Radio Televisión Canaria has this drone's-eye-view live video feed of the erupting Cumbre Vieja and the lava flowing from the volcano:

Involcan video of eruption today

The Canary Islands Volcanology Institute (Involcan) has published this video of the erupting Cumbre Vieja volcano, filmed at 11:30am local time today (6:30am ET) in Tacande:

Eruption leads to circular patterns on La Palma

Itahiza Domínguez, a volcanologist at the Spanish National Geographical Institute, has shared this photo of curious circular patterns formed by the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano:

Where are most volcanoes located?


Where are most volcanoes located?

In this report, AS USA's Greg Heilman explores the process by which volcanoes are formed, and takes a look at where they are most commonly found.

Number of earthquakes on La Palma continues to decrease

After 12 earthquakes were registered overnight on Thursday, just four were recorded on Friday night/Saturday morning in the municipality of Mazo, which has been at the epicentre of the majority of the tremors.

Latest Copernicus update

The EU's Copernicus earth observatory programme has released its latest updated map using thermal imagery to track the Cumbre Vieja eruption. Over the past four days, the lava fields have grown by just over 11 hectares and 15 more buildings have been destroyed.

Footage of lava flow on Saturday am

Involcan has released this footage, recorded on Saturday morning, of a lava flow streaming down the Cumbre Vieja volcano.

La Palma volcano eruption: drone flies low over rivers of lava


La Palma volcano eruption: drone flies low over rivers of lava

Televisión Canaria (RTVC) sent a drone over rivers of lava pouring out of the Cumbre Vieja eruption, offering spectacular views of the volcano's activity.

la palma

€62.5m in La Palma compensation already paid out

The Insurance Compensation Consortium (CCS) has already paid €62.5 million in compensation to insured parties due to the eruption of the volcano in Cumbre Vieja, on the island of La Palma, sources from the organization told EFE.

This amount corresponds to 319 homes, for which €55.65m have been paid; 57 automobiles, for which a total of €270,010 have been paid; 31 stores and office premises, which have received €6.16m and to 5 industries, for an amount of €415,135.


Las Martelas de Abajo families return home

Some 30 families in the neighborhood of Las Martelas de Abajo in the municipality of Los Llanos de Aridane have been allowed to return to their homes almost two months after being evacuated due to lava flows from Cumbre Vieja.

The families were evacuated as the lava flow advanced on the village, but were allowed to go back on Thursday after the order was lifted. It was the first time since the eruption began on 19 September that the local authorities had revoked an evacuation order.

Eruption still isn't showing enough signs it's reaching end, says expert

Carmen López, the director of the Central Geophysical Observatory at Spain’s National Geographical Institute, says there is still not enough evidence to suggest that the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano is near to reaching its conclusion.

“We’re still not seeing the trends that you need to see to be able to forecast that the end of the eruption is going to occur in the immediate future,” López told Canarias Radio on Friday.

We still need to see a reduction of important indicators, particularly the emission of sulphur dioxide. What we need to see is a continuous reduction in these indicators.”


La Palma clean-up continues

In this handout photograph taken and released by the Spanish Military Emergency Unit (UME), Spanish servicemen clean the ash-covered areas in Las Manchas, following the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Canary island of La Palma.

It has been nearly three months since Cumbre Vieja began erupting, forcing more than 7,000 people out of their homes as the lava burnt its way across huge swathes of land on the western side of La Palma.



Copernicus imaging of lava flow extent on La Palma

The European Union's Copernicus earth observatory has released this image of the lava flows on La Palma, with a legend tracking the number of buildings destroyed by the Cumbre Vieja eruption and the extent of the lava fields, taken from its Sentinel-1 satellite on Friday. 

Image: Copernicus EU

Cumbre Vieja losing steam?

Strombolic activity on Cumbre Vieja was considerably weaker on Friday, lending credence to the opinion of some experts who believe the eruption may end before 2022. As this Involcan image shows, the ash plume from the volcano was considerably less voluminous on Friday afternoon. 

"We have been told that there could be scientific signs that the volcano's activity will end this year - there are only three weeks left of the year. Let's hope it ends tomorrow, better sonner rather than later"

Ángel Víctor Torres, President of Canary Islands government

Cumbre Vieja equals 1585 Tehuya erruption

On Saturday 11 December, it will be 84 days since Cumbre Vieja began erupting on 19 September, equalling the length of time Tehuya was active in 1585.

Dept. of National Security update on eruption

Spain’s Department of National Security released the following update on the eruption on Saturday:

- the surface area of the lava flows remains at 1,184 hectares, as lava from the Cumbre Vieja volcano is currently only moving over previous flows

- seismic activity remains low, but “it’s possible that more intense earthquakes will occur that will be felt by the population”

- air quality remains at the same levels of recent days, with “isolated moments of high concentrations of gases”

- it is expected that ash-cloud conditions will be favourable for the operation of flights into and out of La Palma on Saturday

Good morning and welcome to our daily live blog for Saturday 11 December 2021, offering the latest updates on the Cumbre Vieja volcano, which has now been erupting on the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma for nearly three months.