Saturday was a “pretty tough” day, according to Morcuende, as far as ash emission is concerned. “We have a lot on the ground, and in highly populated areas,” said the Pevolca technical director. The primary objective of collecting the smaller material expelled by the volcano is to try to make life more comfortable for the residents who have been almost at the forefront of the problem without their will.
«In Los Llanos de Aridane we have a problem with the movement of people and, above all, of vehicles; This is putting the ashes in suspension permanently and those who suffer from it are the citizens ”, detailed Miguel Ángel Morcuende. Accumulation on roads and tracks also causes access problems.
The Cabildo de La Palma insists on not going up to the roof to clean it if it is not passable. “Go to your town hall to inform the emergency services and let them be in charge,” they announced through the social network Twitter. In this way, they try to avoid accidents, either due to falls, or because if the accumulated ash is too much, it can generate an overweight that causes a sinking.
The spokeswoman for the Pevolca Scientific Committee, Carmen López, also insisted on the high intensity of ash emission on Saturday. Between six in the afternoon of that day and one in the morning of Sunday, the volcano took a breath. “There was a strombolian activity and less emission, the eruptive column was more vertical,” said López. The plume, the dense smoke that comes out of the main mouth of Cumbre Vieja, was cleaner. However, that situation changed again just seven hours later.
“This morning there was an important ash emission again,” confirmed the spokeswoman for the Pevolca Scientific Committee. As the arrival to the population centers decreased, “the rate of lava emission increased,” López continued. With new damages? No, because it ran “on previous casts,” he added. The only notable advance for this expert is the one that ran “to the southwest, north of the El Cogote mountain.”
Seismicity rebounded during those seven hours, although it is a fact that it has decreased in recent days. The deformation of the terrain recorded in Jedey in recent days has also been reversed. And although the emission of sulfur dioxide (SO2) “remains high, more than 10,000 tons per day”, López stressed that there is a “downward trend since September 25.”
The scientific community, however, insists at every moment that it is too early to give a positive meaning to the reduction in the values of some of the main variables. You have to wait to see that the volcano is extinguished.
In general, air in terms of gases – carbon dioxide (CO2) in addition to SO2 – is ‘reasonably good’. A different issue is the presence of very small particles, with a diameter of less than ten micrometers (PM10).
They are responsible for the decision to declare the air quality “extremely unfavorable” in Tazacorte, Los Llanos de Aridane, El Paso, Tijarafe and Puntagorda on Saturday afternoon. The entire west side of La Palma, where it is still necessary to go out with a FFP2 mask –and glasses if there is a pathology or previous ocular sensitivity– or, better, avoid doing it whenever possible.
The culprit that there are high concentrations of PM10 in that area is the trade wind, the prevailing northeast wind in the Archipelago, which during the last days blows with a certain intensity. Yesterday gusts of between 60 and 70 kilometers per hour were reached.
This will continue to happen, at least until Tuesday, as detailed by Miguel Ángel Morcuende. That wind cleans the nascent balcony of La Palma, and that is where the island airport is located, with which air navigation seems to be guaranteed for the beginning of this week.
The number of people staying in hotel establishments increased by two during the last 24 hours; Now there are 467 people who are distributed between Fuencaliente and Los Llanos de Aridane. Meanwhile, there are still 43 dependents hosted in La Palma social health centers.
Yesterday, the Council for Land Management of the Cabildo de La Palma decided to make the 7,646 square meters that had been reserved in Los llanos de Aridane available to the Government of the Canary Islands to build the Insular Auditorium. Now the houses for the people affected by the eruption or basic equipment and endowments destroyed by the lava will go on that ground.
For its part, the Regional Ministry of Education held a meeting after which it decided to maintain the suspension of face-to-face classes in the five municipalities where air quality is extremely unfavorable. Online teaching continues for these students.