Here some bad news about the ongoing eruption on La Palma. The volcano is spewing record amounts of ash while two M5.0 earthquakes hit the island within 24 hours.
According to specialists from the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca), the volcano has started emitting much more volatile material in recent hours.
“We are currently facing record amount of ash. The amount of ash that is falling on the western part of the island is the largest since the beginning of the eruption.”
Particules smaller than 10 micrometers are excessive: 499 µg / m³ compared to 50 µg / m³ (threshold). This episode could be caused by intense degassing.
This ash cloud mainly affects the entire west and northwest part of the island; but especially Los Llanos de Aridane and El Paso, the towns outside the exclusion zone from which the volcano is best seen.
The technical director of Pevolca recommends the use of FPP2 masks and protective glasses in the two above-mentioned municipalities and also in the towns of Tazacorte, Puntagorda and Tijarafe.
The increase in the emission of ash could affect air traffic. On the other hand, the emission of sulfur dioxide fell this Saturday for the sixth consecutive day.
Its concentration in the air did not exceed the daily limit at any time. The eruptive column and scattering cloud emitted by the volcano reached a height of 4,500 meters, higher than the last few days.
And as the volcano emits more ash, it spits out also more lava. As of now, more than 963 hectares have been buried by the 10 currently active lava flows.
“An increase in lava emission has been observed on the west flank of the main cone.”
Lava is also more fluid and flows over the already cold magma, increasing its surface. The below drone footage taken by the National Geographic Institute on Saturday, shows rivers of liquid lava flooding out of Cumbre Vieja’s main crater and down the side of the volcano.
“There are areas where the lava already measures more than 30 meters in depth!”
Out of the 10 lava flows which have been seeping out of the volcano, only one located near the Las Hoyas area, is moving slowly southwards. The remaining lava flows are practically stationary at the moment.
As expected, the morphology of the cone changes repeatedly due to successive growth, collapse and reconfiguration processes. The formation of new vents around the main cone within the exclusion zone, is not ruled out.
Spain’s Meterorological Agency AEMET reported 16 volcanic rays on La Palma in under an hour late on Saturday night. The rays are produced by friction of rock fragments, ash and ice particles which create a static charge similar to lightning in an electric storm.
🌋La red de rayos de AEMET registró ayer 16 rayos volcánicos entre las 8.48 y las 21.23 UTC. Se forman por fricción entre partículas e implican una explosividad más alta, para que el penacho adquiera altura suficiente— AEMET_Canarias (@AEMET_Canarias) October 31, 2021
🔝⚡️ +38.8 kA
Due to the increased level of lava productionsesidents of five municipal areas advised to stay in-doors: Los Llanos, El Paso, Tazacorte, Puntagorde and Tijarafe.
A M5.0 earthquake was recorded today at 5:52 p.m. It has been felt and reported across all the island.
It hit less than 24 hours and at the same location than the M5.0 quake that hit Villa de Mazo, on the east side of La Palma Saturday morning (06:24 a.m.).
This tremor has occurred after a considerable drop in seismic activity for almost all of Saturday and most of Sunday. Pevolca experts had warned before this afternoon M5.0 that “the current level of seismicity continues to indicate that it is possible that more felt earthquakes occur and cause small landslides in sloping areas.”
Meanwhile, residents living close to the erupting volcano refuse to evacuate…