The sixth week starts with the La Palma volcano at maximum activity

The IGN registers more than half a thousand earthquakes in the south of the Island during the last 48 hours


Already two new fractures occurred at three and five in the afternoon suspected the large amount of magma that has accumulated inside the earth. One of the parameters that warned of this situation was the high number of earthquakes that were taking place during the last hours. However, the IGN reported on its website that between 00:00 last Sunday and 22:30 yesterday there had been more than 500 earthquakes, of which at least 41 had been felt by the population, with eleven of them with a maximum intensity of IV; and 186 had a magnitude equal to or greater than 3.0 mbLg. All of them occurred to the south, in the area of ​​the initial swarm that gave birth to the eruptive process.

This increase, on the other hand, occurs at the same time that there is a decrease in movements that are located at a depth of about 30 kilometers, since only eight of them occurred at this distance. Although they are not comparable, in the submarine volcano of El Hierro in 2011 the reduction of seismicity at high depths was the prelude to its end. In this sense, the IGN seismologist Itahiza Domínguez indicated that neither “the processes” nor “the depths are the same”, but “they seem to have a similar behavior.” In any case, “if the seismicity ends it does not mean that the volcano will end soon, a priori; suddenly stops and also ends »the eruption, he added.

On the increase in the movements of the earth detected during the last 48 hours, Domínguez pointed out that they have to do with the greater activity of the volcano that occurred during the day yesterday, showing even more explosive and with a greater amount of lava emanation. . And the forecasts for the next few days continue to be that an earthquake of magnitude VI may arise, which entails the fall of small objects inside the house, as Blanco and the technical director of the Volcanic Emergency Plan of Canarias (Pevolca), Miguel Ángel Morcuende, before the media.

With the increase in seismicity, there has also been a “considerable” growth in the tremor signal, becoming one of the largest registered in the last month, as stated by María José Blanco. This variable reflects the amount of lava that is moving through the different volcanic cones. Its increase shows a greater amount of magmatic material, a fact that was reflected first with the two openings produced at three and five in the afternoon, and, finally, with the rupture of the main cone that Blanco anticipated and which occurred at seven. These three phenomena dumped a large quantity of already solidified magmatic material that advanced as if it were a river downslope over the already formed streams. Its contribution to possible advances on the different fronts is not yet possible to predict.

And it is that during the last two days, the laundry has remained practically paralyzed. Only a new appendix emerged to the south of the main cone on Saturday headed towards the urbanization of Corazoncillo, where a field of photovoltaic panels and a group of chalets have remained besieged by volcanic lava since practically day 2 of the volcano, when it went to just ten meters from its doors. Since then, this group of houses has remained trapped under centimeters of ash but still free of the different lava flows that have been walking towards the sea from the north during the last 37 days. The emissions of the material from the new fractures did cause more damage during the weekend when covering one of the islands that were between castings. Seven houses were destroyed, until the total number of demolished residential buildings increased to 1,287, as well as a property for agricultural use (133 during the volcanic process) in the Alcalá area.

Morcuende explained that the lava expelled in recent days is feeding mainly the fajana located on the beach of El Guirre, which continues to grow and already has an area of ​​about 30 hectares, according to mediations made through the Grafcan website of the Canary Islands Government. It is also contributing material to laundry number 4, which is stopped north of the Todoque mountain. In any case, the rest of the languages ​​are at the same point where they were at the end of last week. The technical director of Pevolca declared that they are still concerned about the possible advance of number 8, located in the center of La Laguna, and whose front has stopped 140 meters from the 7, which continues without movement near the sea. It is especially concerned about the possible path it may take if the lava pushes it on the north flank, located just ten meters from the church in the aforementioned neighborhood and threatening the few houses built along the road to Tazacorte that still remain standing. . Morcuende said that “it would be very interesting” for that language to move towards the sea as it would avoid numerous damage.

The tremor signal registers a «considerable» rise to levels of the first week


Pevolca also reported the opening of the LP-2 highway, between Fuencaliente and Jedey, after last Sunday it had to be closed to traffic due to a landslide in the Los Charcos area. Morcuende pointed out that if more landslides occur, it is not ruled out that a cleanup work on the slope will have to be carried out in order to guarantee safety on the only road that currently connects the south of the island with the south face of the volcano.


Shattered homes

  • The number of houses destroyed by the volcano increases every day. Yesterday it stood at 1,287 after seven buildings in Alcalá were engulfed by lava.


Earthquakes in 48 hours

  • Between 00.00 hours on Sunday and 23.00 hours yesterday, more than half a thousand earthquakes have been registered in the south of the island, of which 41 had been felt by the population.


Affected surface

  • The area affected by the emission of lava amounted to 901 hectares last Sunday, eleven more than two days before, according to information collected from the IGN.


People in foster care

  • The number of residents are welcomed in the hotels of Fuencaliente and Los Llanos de Aridane amounts to 453, which is 14 more than last Sunday.


Column meters

  • The ash column reached a height of 3,800 meters yesterday morning, far from the 7,000 meters recorded on September 28, the highest of the entire eruptive process.


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