The advance of the runoff emanating from the volcano since September 19 has engulfed a total of 431.2 hectares, which represents 0.6% of the surface of La Palma. In the last 24 hours, the lava has occupied 9.27 hectares of land that remained outside the affected area and in the last week the number of hectares covered by magmatic material has increased by 21%, with 93.2 hectares further under the lava tongue. The damaged perimeter already reaches 35 kilometers. As it passes, in addition to homes and crops, the magma has also buried 26.47 kilometers of carts, of which 17.13 are in the municipality of Los Llanos de Aridane, 5.63 kilometers in that of El Paso and 3 , 71 kilometers in that of Tazacorte. The number of destroyed buildings has not been updated in recent hours, so the Pevolca continues to put the number of destroyed homes at 605, 58 agricultural estates, 30 buildings for industrial use and 18 for leisure and restaurants.
The Scientific Committee of the Pevolca reported that at least three emission centers in the main crater and another on the north side of the volcanic edifice are still active. However, they do not rule out the appearance of new foci around the main cone. In the area of fissures that was detected on Monday, a decrease in the degassing and a drop in soil temperature. The fissure eruption preserves its strombolian mechanism, which alters effusive phases, in which it emits large amounts of magmatic material, and explosive phases of low or moderate intensity, in which it expels pyroclasts and volcanic bombs, which it has thrown up to 800 meters away. . The Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) of the Cumbre Vieja volcano remains at 2, on a maximum scale of 8.
The cone undergoes construction processes due to the accumulation of pyroclasts, lava and ash, as well as collapse stages, caused by the collapse of the unconsolidated material and seismicity, with which its morphology changes continuously. The measurements carried out today confirmed that the column of ash and gases expelled by the volcano reaches 3,200 meters in height, while there have been days that distance has exceeded 6,000 meters. The emission of sulfur dioxide continues at high values, with 13,100 tons per day, while the diffuse emission of carbon dioxide in the area is 1,596 tons per day.
The lava delta continues its growth fed from several lobes of the runoff and extends north-south direction. According to the latest update, which corresponds to Wednesday, the fajana already measures 38 hectares (which is equivalent to 38 football fields) and has a front of 450 kilometers on the coastline. The marine plume Along the edge of the delta it produces clouds of water vapor and hydrochloric acid, produced by the term collision between the lava – at more than 800 degrees – with the salty water – at about 24 degrees. However, the plume is concentrated in a small volume around the contact area. The observed effect of the lava delta on the water column of the marine environment, both in physical-chemical and biological parameters, reaches depths of 250 meters and a distance of 500 meters from the front of the fajana.
The losses of banana production on La Palma could reach 80%, because not only have the 35.5 hectares of this crop that are under lava been affected by the eruption, but many farms have been cut off or without a system of irrigation. To solve this situation, they have been bought for portable desalination plants that are already in Puerto Naos. The President of the Government of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, expects that at least one will be in operation by the end of next week. The objective of this exceptional measure is that the farmers can water the children of the banana trees, to be able to collect them in the next harvest. The banana sector accounts for 40% of the island’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Another of the sectors especially hit by the volcanic crisis in which massive losses are expected is fishing. The major pattern of the Fishermen’s Association of Tazacorte, César Camacho, and the head of the Acuipalma aquaculture company, Jorge Medina, met today by videoconference with the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, who provided his support to the fishing sector of La Palma affected by the eruption of the volcano . In addition to financial support to repair affected fishing and aquaculture facilities, the decree approved last Tuesday includes direct aid of 500,000 euros to shipowners and crew members to compensate for two months of stoppage of the fleet, although these figures are not final, pending know how the situation evolves, explained Planas. Only in the port of Tazacorte, 33 vessels have been affected, employing more than fifty crew members.
The cultivation of salt it has also been affected by the ashfall. Those responsible for the Fuencaliente salt mine are watching the sky attentively, because they already know the damage that a volcano can do to their business, which was paralyzed for two years when the Teneguía erupted. Andrés Hernández, manager of this family business, tells Efe that the forecast is to lose five crops because of the ash, which translated into money is between 150,000 and 200,000 euros. As long as there is the slightest trace of ash, they do not dare to commercialize the salt. “We can’t risk it,” he says. For now, the salt that was being created in the crystallizers is now lost. At least they were able to save the one that was piled up in small mounds on the edges of the grid made of mud and stone, which occupies an area of 35,000 square meters.