In October 2011, following weeks of intense seismic activity, an underwater volcano erupted off the coast of El Hierro in Spain’s Canary Islands. Ten years later, the nearby island of La Palma appears to be facing the same situation.
In the past few days, more than 5,400 tremors have been recorded.
A ground deformation of around 10 centimeters on-site indicates that magma is bubbling beneath the surface.
Although the seismic activity in Cumbre Vieja has decreased in the last 48 hours, today, a M3.0 earthquake hit at a depth of 0.1 km, around 03:26 (UTC) in the morning.
A mega-tsunami has been ruled out. Nonetheless, the risk of a possible eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano remains elevated. This is why the Volcano Risk Prevention Plan (Pevolca) has decided to elevate the volcanic eruption risk to yellow – the second-highest. Moreover, yesterday, they presented an evacuation plan for 5 municipalities around the volcano.
Evacuation plan for 5 cities approved
The evacuation plan has been drawn for the five municipalities of Tazacorte, Los Llanos de Aridane, Mazo, El Paso and Fuencaliente, or about 40,000 people.
Meanwhile, it has been accepted and activated by officials. People are advised to pack bags with documents and medicines and be ready to go. Shelters are already in place with medicine and food.
Aren’t these Orange Alert measures? And they are actually under Yellow Alert.
Authorities have called two meetings today, Sept. 18th, to inform residents about the volcanic risk alert. Here’s a video of the first meeting:
Other measures taken on September 19, 2021
- Closure of the Los Brecitos LP- 214 road
- Closure of the Refugio del Pilar Recreational Area
- Closure of the Caños de Fuego Center and access to the Cueva de las Palomas
- Access to the rest of the cavities located in the area is prohibited
- The La Palma trail network and forest tracks that run through the municipalities of Fuencaliente, El Paso, Los Llanos de Aridane and Villa de Mazo are closed.
- The small game day is suspended in these same municipalities.
- People are advised to take their livestocks to the livestock fairgrounds of El Paso and San Isidro, in Breña Alta.
The last eruption in La Palma took place in October 1971, when the Teneguía volcano erupted for more than three weeks after a crack appeared in the south of the island. The situation remained calm until 2017, when seismic activity resumed. In the past few days, this activity has intensified with constant small tremors, known as an earthquake swarm, recorded a few kilometers from Teneguía in the Cumbre Vieja area, southeast of the island. [OK Diario, Antena3, rtvc, el diario, El Pais]
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