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La Palma volcano: eruption, tsunami warning and latest news | Canary Islands | Summary 15 december

La Palma volcano, live updates today: eruption, tsunami warning and latest news | Canary Islands

Cumbre Vieja volcano: live updates


- Cumbre Vieja has now been active for 88 days, beginning on 19 September

- Continued period of relative quiet from volcanic tremors

- Eruption "could stop by end of year" claim experts, while caution of a reverse trend is advised

- Lava flows cover over 1,220 hectares of land on La Palma

- Lava has formed deltas totalling around 50 hectares off La Palma coast

- 3,000 buildings affected by lava flows (>1,600 destroyed), according to Copernicus Earth observation programme

Useful information

- Volcanologist speaks to AS about the effects of lava reaching the sea

Where are most volcanoes located on Earth?

- A look at the active volcanoes on the Canary Islands

Further reading:

Endgame for Cumbre Vieja ?

The Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma was silent for a second day on Wednesday, giving scientists the first chance to study the main crater from its brink as the eruption appeared to be nearing its end after three months.

Cumbre Vieja: live (multiview)

House covered in ash La Palma

A house near the Tacande neighbourhood on La Palma is seen surrounded by ash from the Cumbre Vieja volcano on Wednesday.

(Photo: REUTERS/Marco Trujillo)

The EU's Copernicus Earth observation programme has released its latest update on the Cumbre Vieja eruption: the total surface area of land on La Palma that is covered by the lava flows now stands at 1,237.3 hectares. A total of 2,988 buildings have been affected by the eruption, Copernicus also says.

Good luck ash-covered car La Palma

The word 'good luck' is written on an ash-covered car in Tajuya, La Palma, amid the ongoing eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano.


Where are most volcanoes located?


Where are most volcanoes located?

How are volcanoes formed? Where are they most commonly located?

AS USA's Greg Heilman takes a look

Drone's-eye view of Cumbre Vieja eruption

The local broadcaster Radio Televisión Canaria has posted these drone's-eye-view video images of the erupting Cumbre Vieja volcano on Wednesday evening:


General view of the Cumbre Vieja volcano pictured from Tajuya, on the Canary Island of La Palma, on December 15, 2021.

More than 7,000 people have been evacuated from their homes since the volcano erupted on September 19, spewing out rivers of lava that have slowly crept towards the sea.


CV volcan

Longest eruption in history of La Palma

El País - The Cumbre Vieja's 86 days of life made it the longest eruption in the history of the Canary Island, after exceeding the length of activity of Tehuya in 1585.

In terms of the entire archipelago, it is on a par with Tao (or del Clérigo) eruption on Lanzarote, which lasted 86 days in 1824. It is still, however, short of the eruption of Narices del Teide, in Tenerife (99 days in 1798), and the six years that the eruption of Timanfaya lasted in Lanzarote in 1730.

Christmas spirit in La Palma

Reuters - Volcanic ash and lumps of lava blasted out of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma have become part of Christmas nativity scene in a nearby church.

Domingo Guerra, the priest at Tajuya church, and Ruben Lopez, a geologist with the Spanish geographical institute, wanted to use volcanic debris for the nativity to mark the near three-month long eruption that has caused havoc for local residents.

Full story

La Palma volcano comes to stop: ‘It is not emitting lava, nor sulfur dioxide, nor registering seismic activity’

The activity of the volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma stopped completely on Tuesday, nearly three months after it first began to erupt. “It is not emitting lava, nor sulfur dioxide, nor is it registering any tremors or seismic activity,” sources from the National Geographic Institute (IGN) confirmed.

The same sources consider it “improbable” that it will restart its activity, but are not ruling that possibility out for now.

Read more

Involcan have released footage of the interior of a degassing crate at 13:00 Canarian time on Wednesday. 

la palma

Cumbre Vieja remains silent

The Cumbre Vieja volcano on the island of La Palma was silent for a second day on Wednesday, raising hopes of an end to the three-month eruption, although experts remained cautious.

Seismic activity all but stopped late on Monday, the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute, Involcan, said. It is the longest period without tremors since the eruption began on 19 September.

"We can see now that the seismicity is very weak, the deformation is zero, the tremor is zero," Ruben López, a geologist with the Spanish geographical institute, said.

"Now, with these parameters, we can see the volcano had stopped, and maybe we could start to see the end of the La Palma volcanic eruption."

Emissions of sulphur dioxide, which had forced a lockdown of a third of the island's population before the volcano went silent, were "extremely low" on Tuesday, Involcan said.

Still, experts from the eruption response committee have not ruled out a resumption of volcanic activity.


Copernicus working on 62nd (and final?) map

The EU's Copernicus earth observatory has been issuing detailed maps of the La Palma eruption using satellite radar imagery, providing updates on the extent of the lava flows and the number of buildings affected. The last map issued showed an increase of 3.3 hectares in the four previous days and a further 14 buildings destroyed. With its latest map in production, we can expect to see practically zero in terms of lava coverage and hopefully no more buildings damaged, which will back the prevailing theory that the eruption is coming to an end. 

Volcano monitoring continues

The situation appears to be coming to an end but experts on La Palma are playing it cautiously, knowing too well how temperamental Mother Nature can be.

Here you can see one of the engineers installing a new monitoring station around the second cone of Cumbre Vieja.

Droning around Cumbre Vieja

Check out this image taken earlier today from a drone above the upper part of the volcano.

Windy textures on La Palma

A number of different textural residues have been generated in pyroclastic deposits around Cumbre Vieja, created as the wind blows on various materials.

La Palma volcano: experts say Cumbre Vieja eruption may be over


La Palma volcano: experts say Cumbre Vieja eruption may be over

After devastation costing an estimated €1 billion in damages, the adverse activity from Cumbre Vieja appears to be over, according to experts.

It has now been more than 24 hours since any indication that the volcano is still active was registered, with volcanologists in agreement that a period of 48 hours with no indications of continued activity can be regarded as confirmation that the eruption has ceased.

“There is no lava emission, no sulfur dioxide, and no sign of any tremors or seismicity,” sources from the Spanish National Geographic Institute told EL PAÍS on Tuesday.

However, given previous lulls in activity on Cumbre Vieja, the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca) is erring on the side of caution and will wait for a few days to announce a definitive end to the eruption.

Rob Train brings you the latest.

Volcano impact as situation settles

So far, there have been 1,628 buildings destroyed by the volcanic activity of Cumbre Vieja, while the Copernicus satellite calculates that 3,063 buildings have been affected in some way since the eruption began on 19 September 19.

This data comes from the latest report we have received from the Pevolca Scientific Committee.

Volcanic ash used in La Palma nativity scene

Volcanic ash and lumps of lava blasted out of our friend Cumbre Vieja have become part of Christmas nativity scene in a nearby church.

Domingo Guerra, the priest at Tajuya church, and Ruben Lopez, a geologist with the Spanish geographical institute, wanted to use volcanic debris for the nativity to mark the near three-month long eruption that has caused havoc for local residents.

We are yet to receive confirmation on reports that they will be singing 'We wish you a Merry Christmash?', 'The hot lay of the lava', and 'All a vent for Christmas is you'. Sorry!

Twelve light earthquakes recorded

In the early hours of this morning, the seismic activity monitors had registered twelve earthquakes on La Palma, all of them with magnitudes lower than 3, so advised the Geological and Mining Institute of Spain (IGME).

La Palma silence is golden

The Aridane Valley dawned this Wednesday morning without a single observable sign of the eruption that began 88 days ago in Cabeza de Vaca.

Low sulphur dioxide levels

As reported by Involcan, the sulphur dioxide emission rate recorded yesterday from the Cumbre Vieja on La Palma was extremely low (<5 t/d).

Stuck in Tenerife due to La Palma ash cloud

All fun and games here at Tenerife South Airport,” Ross Mitchell tweeted.

“No flights to the UK today due to the latest volcanic euruption on La Palma. 

Volcanic ash meant no Jet2 flights could travel from the UK therefore no return flights for us.”

Air quality in La Palma: good to fair

INVOLCAN authorities reported that lava continues to be emitted from volcanic tubes but production is at a much lower level compared to previous days.

The ash cloud has been moving in a south-south easterly direction which is not good news for La Palma's airport. Air quality is fair in Los Llanos de Aridane and reasonably good in other parts of the island.

La Palma clean-up gets professional help

For residents on La Palma, cleaning up piles of ash from Cumbre Vieja volcano is a chore which has to be performed daily. A number of professional cleaning companies have been hired to help out mopping up public spaces. Bags of ash are taken to a deposit point in Los Llanos de Aridane.

Initially, the volcano spewed out small rocks but now the main problem is the fine, black ash which is much harder to collect and dispose of.

Involcan continues to monitor gas emissions

A stay-at-home order was lifted for residents of Los Llanos de Aridane, El Paso and Tazacorte on Monday as air quality improved following the emission of gases from Cumbre Vieja over the weekend, but the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute is continuing to monitor the situation on the mountain.

La Palma volcano ending? "It's too early to tell"

The Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma fell silent as constant tremors stopped late on Monday, though experts cautioned this did not necessarily mean the eruption is nearing an end after 85 days.

Seismic activity on the island all but stopped around 9 pm local time on Monday, The Canary Islands Volcanology Institute, Involcan, said on Tuesday. It's the longest period without tremors since the eruption began.

"This does not imply the eruption is ending, since on other occasions halts were followed by a renewed increase in activity," Involcan said on its twitter account.

It added footage of the Cumbre Vieja showing how the almost constant roaring of the volcano had ceased.

The eruption, which has sent rivers of molten lava running down the slopes of Cumbre Vieja for weeks, is the longest running on the Spanish Canary Island since records began in 1500.

The quiet on Monday evening and Tuesday morning followed the emission of dense toxic clouds of sulphur dioxide on Monday morning that prompted the lockdown of about a third of the island's population.

Stavros Meletlidis, a volcanologist with the NationalGeographic Institute who has been following the eruption sinceit began, said there were multiple possible explanations andpointed out that pauses had been observed before.

Around a week after the eruption started, seismic activity suddenly dropped off for several hours before restarting with renewed vigour, a pattern that is not uncommon in the early stages of an eruption, he explained.

But after nearly three months of activity, the eruption is in a different phase and could be losing strength, he said. "The magma needs energy to get to the surface and it seems that it does not have it at the moment," he said, explaining that could be due to a decline in levels of gases or magma volume as the eruption slowly loses force.

However, it could be the result of a blockage between subterranean magma chambers and the surface vent, in which case pressure would continue to build up until reaching critical mass and causing fresh explosions.

"It's too early to tell if we're entering a terminal phase," he said.

Before declaring the eruption definitively over, scientists will be looking out for a period of at least 48 hours with no seismic activity or surface eruption, he added.

La Palma volcano blog: welcome

Good morning and welcome to our daily live blog for Wednesday 15 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.

We'll keep you up-to-date on all the latest developments as well as share some of the spectacular images and footage from the site.