The company HDMeteo, which develops the meteorological portal of the Cabildo of La Palma, provides this data as a demonstration of the high geothermal capacity that houses the Palmero volcano. The magnitude of volcanic eruptions is measured on the scale of the Volcanic Explosivity Index with values between 0 and 8; In the case of this eruption, the estimated index so far is 2, but also a characteristic of the eruptions is the emission of heat and, in the case of Old Summit, the geothermal accumulation found in its interior is being determined, an energy that will continue in the area for a long time once the eruption ends, which is still in the explosive phase.
The advance of the southern wash threatens homes and the Las Manchas cemetery
More earthquakes, more lava flows and more sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere reflect five weeks after the La Palma volcano, far from ending, it is still in full activity and expelling the enormous magma that runs through the depths of the beautiful island. And faced with this scenario, La Palma trees are with their hearts in their fists because, slowly but surely, the destruction of crops and buildings is increasing by the minute. Both the National Geographic Institute (IGN) and the Canary Islands Volcanological Institute (Involcan) certify that the eruption is in full effusive phase with alternating intense explosive episodes and there are four eruptive mouths, although they have become nine emission centers. Lava flows are also listed, which now number ten after the irruption of a new magma flow detected to the south and which once again threatens the Las Manchas area.
The Villa de Mazo and the areas surrounding the volcanic eruption woke up yesterday with no less than 135 earthquakes detected between dawn and morning. The intensity of the seismic movements is reflected by the fact that in 48 hours – from October 22 to 24 – the IGN registered 307 earthquakes with a maximum of 4.9 degrees on Saturday. Yesterday most of the earthquakes were detected at 12 kilometers deep, while nine of the 135 were recorded at 30 kilometers. According to the experts who monitor the volcano, it has increased the emission of pyroclasts in the secondary cone of the eruption, coinciding precisely with the increase in the volcanic tremor yesterday and the highest seismicity since Sunday night at a depth of 10-15 kilometers. In the afternoon of yesterday a new earthquake of four degrees also of medium depth was felt.
The increase in earthquakes causes new emission sources and more lava overflows
This strong increase in seismicity has caused more lava flow and a lava flow that advances to the south, in the already evacuated area of Las Manchas, threatening the Corazoncillo area, a photovoltaic plant and the cemetery. The Pevolca technicians have detected that this new laundry has slowed down due to the amount of ash, although it is very close to this neighborhood. Also late in the afternoon the opening of a new source was verified, which has led to new important spills of lava and overflows from other eruptive sources.
The wash whose front stopped in the neighborhood of La Laguna continues to receive input in its rear part, so that sooner or later it will end up moving towards the sea. To that has been added another cause for concern: the pouring that comes from the mouth that until now had only been emitting pyroclasts and that is the one that advances towards the south at about 50 meters per hour. The hope of the crisis cabinet is that this wash will end up joining a previous one and cause no damage, only materials, since that area was one of the first evacuated. In addition, it is trusted that the abundant accumulation of ash in that area will slow down and contribute greater viscosity to that laundry.
At present there are four active emission centers that contribute load to the flows, and throughout the eruptive process there have been up to nine, as explained yesterday by the technical director of Pevolca, Miguel Ángel Morcuende, some of which have been activated and closed . Likewise, he listed up to ten the flows that have been emanating from the volcano, the tenth being the new one that emerged in the south direction. The one that continues to threaten the La Laguna neighborhood is laundry number eight, according to the map shown by the director of Pevolca in his daily appearance before the media.
The Copernicus satellite updated yesterday the area affected by the eruptive process, which is estimated at 852.27 hectares, 3.31 hectares more than the previous day, and the maximum width between the extreme points of the flows remains at approximately 2,900 meters. The increase in hectares responds to the lava spill in the south and to the gaps that have been filled in the intermediate areas where the flows that have overflowed from the eruptive mouths feed the previous flows and the surface that had been left out of the occupation of lava.
The eruption takes away 2,270 buildings and 260 hectares of agricultural crops
According to the latest Copernicus data regarding the number of buildings destroyed or damaged, it is estimated that the eruptive process has affected approximately a total of 2,270 buildings, of which 2,143 are destroyed and 127 damaged or at risk. Morcuende pointed out that it is the scan made by the satellite without distinguishing if they are homes, tool rooms, industries or other types of buildings. In this sense, according to the data managed by the Pevolca steering committee, with data from the cadastre updated 72 hours ago, the houses destroyed are little more than a thousand, apart from implement rooms, hotel or leisure premises and buildings of other uses that have been falling with the passage of lava.
In relation to crops, the total of affected hectares is around 260 hectares, almost 14 more than in the previous record. Of these, 145.61 correspond to banana plantations, 53.54 vineyards and 22.89 avocado trees.
The impact of the volcano on the population continues to increase. Regarding evacuated residents, there are 439 people (10 more than the previous day) staying in hotel complexes –376 at the Fuencaliente Hotel and 63 at the Los Llanos de Aridane Hotel–. In addition, there are 46 dependent people in social health centers on the island, as explained by the technical director of Pevolca.
The air quality in the last hours has been fluctuating depending on the wind and the thermal inversion that during the last days has been in the area of the Aridane Valley and surrounding areas. The last measurement of sulfur dioxide emission made was 3,200 tons and the height of the ash cloud was 3.2 kilometers. The forecast for the next few hours is that the cloud of gases will move towards the southwest, which favors the operation of La Palma airport and those of the rest of the islands, so that air connections will remain open and the airlines will be the ones that will decide at any moment if they fly or not, as has happened since the eruption began.
One of the added problems that arose after the release of the Saharan dust are the rains that reached the beautiful island during the weekend and that can affect the accumulation of ash and that if they fall with force the collision with the lava produces emission of gases . In this sense, “weak, scarce” rains are expected in the north and east of La Palma, without ruling out on the west side.
Likewise, the Pevolca and IGN technicians note the “slow trend” of deflation of the terrain at points far from the eruptive center, while the deformation near the cone is stable, although it is a changing situation that can change at any time.
307. Seismic swarm
According to data from the National Geographic Institute (IGN) between October 22 and 24 there were 307 earthquakes, the strongest being on Saturday, 4.9 degrees.
852. Hectares affected
The Copernicus satellite data reflects until yesterday an affection for lava flows of 852.2 hectares of land due to the appearance of new flows.
2,270. Destroyed buildings
The total number of buildings affected by the lava are 2,270, of which 2,143 are totally destroyed and 127 are damaged or at serious risk of being so.
260. Crops destroyed
The total number of hectares of crops affected is around 260, almost 14 more than in the previous record. Of these, 145.61 correspond to banana plantations.