La Palma eruption update: First underwater images of the new lava island – Increased volcanic activity and two-depth seismicity

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La Palma volcano continues to erupt on October 13 2021. Picture: Sergio Pérez

The Cumbre Vieja volcano spews lava and smoke as it continues to erupt on the Canary Island of La Palma. Three lava flows are still active. One of them is still on its way to the sea, another one, further south, has slowed down.

The river of lava increased speed in its advance down the slope of Cumbre Vieja yesterday. In these images released by the Spanish National Research Council you can see how the hotter faster moving molten rock rolls over the previous flow that has cooled.

More footage from the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute, which shows the speed at which fresh lava flows are shooting from the volcano after the partial cone collapse on Saturday.

Experts are unsure how long the eruption may last, but estimate anywhere between one and two months, or perhaps even longer.

The Geological and Mining Institute of Spain in conjunction with the Spanish National Research Council posted this video of the lava flow coming down the side of Cumbre Vieja in La Palma. Although the lava appears not to be moving, using thermal imaging activity can be seen in the main lava channels.

1-1-2 Canarias, the Canary Islands’ emergency services department, has released updated figures on the damage caused by the Cumbre Vieja eruption, revealing that 937 buildings, of which 80% were residential, have now been destroyed by the lava flow.

1-1-2 Canarias also places the surface area now affected by the lava at 640.27 hectares – slightly below Copernicus’ estimation of 656 hectares. The lava flow currently reaches a maximum width of 1,770 metres, the body added.

According to the EU’s earth observatory Copernicus, the lava flow from Cumbre Vieja now covers 656 hectares with a total 1,458 buildings destroyed by the eruption.

Here’s the first official video of the underwater new lava delta. It was recorded with a Rov and a 360° camera. Fish seems to enjoy their new habitat:

Here another video from GEVolcan (Canary Islands Volcano Study Group):

The Canary Islands Volcanology Institute (Involcan) has shared this video, filmed at 1pm today local time, of the erupting Cumbre Vieja volcano:

As the ash rains down on the localities below the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma, emergency military personnel are cleaning the falling rock particles from the rooftops to prevent structure damage to the buildings that haven’t been engulfed by the lava.

Over the past 24 hours there has been intensified tremors around the site of the eruption with over 50 between 2.0 and 3.0 magnitude and 20 above 3.0 magnitude. At 14:33 local time the biggest earthquake yet was registered at 4.4 magnitude.

As shown in the video below, seismic activity occurs at two different depths:

  • ~ 11-15 km: initial magmatic intrusion base (left)
  • ~ 35 km: Where the magma accumulated for years (right)

Satellite imagery taken from last week by the European Space Agency show how the sulphur dioxide emissions from the Cumbre Vieja eruption on La Palma are drifting over the Atlantic Ocean toward Central America.

To get a perspective of the unfolding situation on the ground, and into the ocean, in La Palma BuzzFeedStorm created this fun 3D map of the lava flow using drone footage.

More than three thousand residents of La Palma were allowed to leave their homes on Tuesday when authorities ended a lockdown ordered after a thick cloud of smoke erupted from the volcano that has devastated the Spanish Canary island.

A stream of red-hot lava gushing from the Cumbre Vieja volcano engulfed a cement plant on Monday, raising clouds of smoke and prompting authorities to instruct people in the area to stay at home.

Emergency services told residents in the towns of El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane to stay indoors, shut their windows and turn off air conditioning units to avoid inhaling toxic fumes from the burning cement plant as it was gradually swallowed by the lava.

Later the same day, authorities said the smoke cloud had passed and the air quality had improved so 3,500 residents could leave their homes.

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1 Comment

  1. The new delta looks enormous and heavy. Not sure how stable it is.

    My advice is go fishing for 3 weeks. Find the coves and kelp beds on the opposite side of island. Use the sonar for fish finding, and have a nice vacation.

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