The La Palma volcano eruption rises to magnitude 3 after expelling 10 million cubic meters of pyroclasts


At a press conference, the IGN volcanologist, Carmen López, has recalled that the magnitude can be established in a scale of zero to eight which is calculated from the volume of pyroclastic material emitted.

“Given that 10 million cubic meters of emitted pyroclastic material have been exceeded,” he said, “it goes from value two to value three, and it does not imply that the eruptive mechanism has changed, which is still strombolian effusive fissure.”

Likewise, he stressed that there is no change in the explosiveness of the eruption, which remains with the same characteristics as during the entire process.

Three fronts remain active

Regarding the evolution of the volcano, the deputy director of Pevolca, Rubén Fernández, has indicated that they continue active the three lava wash fronts that there was in the day of this Friday but with less activity.

In this way, the one that runs between zones four and seven is occupying new ground and has advanced 130 meters until the morning of this Saturday; while regarding the issuing centers, there are several assets with a variable activity of both pyroclasts and gases like lava.

As for the seismicity refers, at intermediate depths it continues to be located in the same areas and tremor remains low.

In addition, early in the day the height of the eruptive column measured was about 3,200 meters with dispersion in an easterly direction; and there is a predominance of southern and western component flights up to 5,000 meters.

Ash cloud prevents air connections

However, the cloud of ash and SO2 is disposed towards the east-northeast from the eruptive focus and no changes are expected in the next few hours, which looks like an unfavorable scenario for aeronautics.

Thus, the Binter company, that there was suspended its flights to and from La Palma this Saturday morning, at least until reviewing the conditions to resume them in the early afternoon, has announced shortly before three in the afternoon that it maintains the cancellation of its operations planned for the rest of this day.

Meanwhile, the staff of the Palmero airport has carried out cleaning tasks to rid the facilities of the volcanic ash, mainly the aircraft maneuvering area.

On the other hand today, there are 489 people housed in hotels, which is one person less than this Friday. Of these, 71 are in Los Plains of Aridane and 418 in Fuencaliente, as well as another 43 that are dependent and are housed in Cabildo social health centers.

Finally, according to the latest available data from the affected area is estimated at 1050.95 hectares, data that represents 2.94 hectares more than in the last update.

Gases destroy 70% of pines

On the other hand, 70% of the Canary Island pine near the Cumbre Vieja volcano has been burned as a result of the acid rain that has fallen around the volcanic cone and the harmful gases, as explained by scientists from the biodiversity team of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) during the meeting they held this Saturday with the Minister of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera.

This meeting has dealt with issues that affect both the air quality and the island’s biodiversity, especially in areas close to the volcanic cone. In that sense, scientists have indicated that the Canarian pine forest within a radius of four kilometers from the La Palma volcano has been seriously affected by the conditions caused by the eruption. In addition, they have added that there are more than 1,050 hectares of surface covered by lava flows.

The fauna has also been affected, with a notable reduction in insects and birds that, until a few months ago, were part of the natural ecosystem of the Cumbre Vieja ridge., and that now they have moved to other parts.

For his part, Ribera highlighted at the end of the meeting the “very significant presence of the CSIC in the Canary Islands” and the constant collaboration, also between scientific entities, with the researchers and workers of the Cabildo de La Palma.

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