The fissures in the volcanic tubes cause lava overflows that devastate 60 buildings on La Palma in 24 hours


Volcanic tubes are the only system capable of channeling the advance of lava. Its appearance has helped most of the magmatic material flow over ancient languages, thus preventing its expansion into new terrain. Last Saturday there were cracks in the structure of the lava channels located further south of the emergency area and a molten rock overflow was generated north of Cogote Mountain. This new river, which already falls on the lower island, devastated in 36 hours 60 buildings located on the devastated surface between the viewpoint of Las Hoyas and the coast. These "ephemeral" streams that border the main one as they emanate from the small cracks in the lava channels "are associated with the most superficial feeding system of the eruption." The scientific spokesperson for the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca), Carmen LópezHe pointed out that in the coming days, inspections will continue to be carried out to specify the connection between the last languages ​​and the feeding systems of the main cone and the secondary ones. The material that flows through these new routes is very fluid, moves quickly due to its high temperature and is highly degassed. "This lava comes out very hot but with less gas content, so it surely comes from the main building," López explained.

The energy input that comes from Cumbre Vieja intensely feeds streams 11 and 9, which are located south of Todoque Mountain and fall on Charcón beach. The technical director of Pevolca, Miguel Ángel Morcuende, does not rule out that this magmatic material, which has reached the coast but has not come into contact with the sea, ends up joining with the original strip, forming a larger lava delta. In addition, the lava could fill gaps to the south and southwest of the face of wash 9, thus affecting more houses, which currently remain isolated between two lava tongues. The land affected by the runoffs has a maximum width of 3,350 meters.

The devastated area already amounts to 1,182 hectares, which represents 1.66% of the surface of La Palma. In this area, according to the latest data shared by the Copernicus satellites –European terrestrial surveillance program–, there are 3,039 buildings affected, of which 2,881 have been destroyed and 158 are partially affected or in danger. Lava has also devastated the island's roads, covering 92.7 kilometers of track. The land that the molten rock has reclaimed from the sea totals 48.03 hectares, of which 5.05 correspond to the new lava delta that grows on the beach of La Viña.

Stability phase

The seismicity, tremor and deformation of the terrain are indicators that help the scientific community to intuit what may be happening inside the structure of the Cumbre Vieja volcano. These parameters remain in the stabilization phase and remain at low levels. The seismicity remains low at intermediate depths and at depths greater than 20 kilometers, it continues in very low ranges, while the tremor remains at low values ​​and with little variability. According to the scientific committee, the current seismicity level continues to indicate that it is possible that more earthquakes felt by the population may occur, which could reach intensities V-VI on the European macroseismic scale (EMS), which has 12 levels, and they could cause small landslides in areas of steep slopes.

During the last day, between 8:00 p.m. on Monday and 8:00 p.m. yesterday, 36 seismic movements were found on La Palma. The most important occurred at 1:29 p.m., with intensity 4, at a depth of 12 kilometers. The epicenter was located in the municipality of Fuencaliente and the earthquake was felt by the population with an intensity IV. The stations near the eruptive center have not detected deformations in the terrain, except in a station far from the volcanic building, where a slight deflation persists detected in previous days.

The main cone is already 1,123 meters high. This structure continually undergoes construction and destruction processes, so its dimensions have varied throughout the volcanic crisis. Currently, the cone has a crack that could cause the east face to collapse into the crater, thereby not causing serious damage.

The height of the volcanic ash cloud reached yesterday the three kilometers of altitude and was arranged in a northeast direction. The weather forecast indicates that throughout the day the winds will be from east to south and the orientation of the ash plume and sulfur dioxide would be directed towards the northwest, which, in principle, is favorable for the operation of the airport of La Palma.

Gas on the coast

The emission of sulfur dioxide (SO2) associated with the volcanic plume reflects a downward trend since 23 September. Regarding non-visible emanations such as diffuse carbon dioxide (CO2), it continues to reflect an emission higher than the average value of the background levels, although they do not represent a danger to people, unless accumulations of CO2 are formed in poorly ventilated depressions. , which displace oxygen from the air and generate oxygen-free environments. Regarding air quality, Morcuende explained that values ​​that are not dangerous to people's health have been registered in the southern area of ​​the emergency, but in Puerto Naos and La Bombilla the presence of toxic gases prevents access to neighbors for the removal of belongings or the irrigation of plantations. The entry of a haze front during the past night could increase the presence of particles smaller than 10 microns (PM10) in the air.

As a precautionary measure, Pevolca has asked the sensitive population of the Aridane Valley, Breña Alta, Tijarafe and Puntagorda to reduce all outdoor activities until the air quality is good or reasonably good. In addition, it has urged the general population to reduce prolonged and vigorous outdoor activities, especially if they have a cough, shortness of breath or any other symptoms.

The number of people housed in hotel establishments rises to 557, of which 411 are in Fuencaliente, 71 in Los Llanos de Aridane and 75 in Breña Baja. They are joined by another 43 dependents who are cared for in various social and health centers on the island.

1,182

hectares

  • The flows have covered 1,182 hectares of La Palma, which represents 1.66% of the total area of ​​the island. The accumulated lava in the two strips has already gained 48.03 hectares to the sea.

557

sheltered

  • The number of people housed in hotels amounts to 557, one more than the previous day. To these are added the 43 dependent people housed in social health centers.

1,123

meters

  • The main cone of the Cumbre Vieja volcano already reaches 1,123 meters in height. However, the volcanic building undergoes continuous processes of construction and destruction.

3,039

buildings

  • The advance of the lava has razed 3,039 buildings, of which 2,881 are destroyed and 158 partially damaged or in danger, according to the latest Copernicus update.

4

intensity

  • The most important seismic movement was 4 and occurred yesterday at 1:29 p.m., at a depth of 12 kilometers. The epicenter was located in the municipality of Fuencaliente.

3,000

meters

  • The height of the ash cloud measured yesterday reached 3,000 meters of altitude, half a kilometer more than the previous day, and it was disposed towards the northeast.

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