La Palma volcanic update: Cumbre Vieja activity is picking up again after record earthquakes and toxic gas from strong Strombolian jets prompt evacuation of Puerto Naos

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La Palma volcano eruption update December 2 2021

The La Palma volcano eruption is picking up again since December 1, 2021. The lava flow is affecting previously spared areas of the Spanish island, while an increase in tremors and emissions suggests the volcano is becoming more active.

With the opening of new vents (now 9) on Cumbre Vieja, a surge of fresh lava is rushing downhill towards the sea at speeds of up to 1 meter (3 feet) per second since Monday. The volcano shows now a strong strombolian activity:

While the activity of the main cone is currently slowing down, the second cone, that opened up last Thursday is spewing lava like never before!

The volcano is not ‘sleeping’ anymore!

The Puerto Naos area has been evacuated due to high levels of toxic gases emanating from the ongoing Cumbre Vieja volcano eruption.

Copernicus estimates that the eruption has affected 1,163 hectares of surface and 2,790 buildings since its beginning on September 19, as shown in its latest map below:

The island has recorded more than 374 earthquakes this Tuesday. That’s a new record. The previous maximum was set at 319 on November 17. Now, seismicity predominates at intermediate depths (between 10 and 15 kilometers).

According to vulcanologists from IGN, the high seismicity will continue in the coming days. The earthquakes could also increase in intensity (>M5.0).

Here some updated data on the ongoing eruption.

1. Main cone activity is scarce and intermittent, predominantly fumarolic activity.

2. Eruptive activity concentrated mainly on the northwest flank, where the accumulation of pyroclasts has led to the formation of a cone of pyroclasts with strombolian and effusive activity that emits lava flows that do not occupy new territory.

3. Small landslides occur inside the crater; Blocks are transported away by the lava flows.

4. Most of the energy flows through the north zone and the center zone of the old flows.

5. Meteorological conditions are favorable for operations of the La Palma airport.

6. Air quality is reasonably good in Los Llanos de Aridane and Tazacorte and good in the rest of the island.

7. Seismicity at intermediate depths has increased in the last 24 hours and has been located in the same areas. The number of earthquakes at depths greater than 20 km has also increased.

8. Latest data available on the affected area continues to be estimated at 1,163 hectares (29 hectares more than yesterday).

9. The southern lava delta is about 48.03 and the northern one is about 5.05.

10. The column height measured today has been 3,500 meters and the steam development cloud reaches 5,200 meters.

Meanwhile, a rainbow formed over Cumbre Vieja after a strong pyroclastic rain

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  1. That strobolian activity seems powerful. More earthquakes at shallow depths too. Those people living there must have big balls. I would be fishing, and making sashimi on deck, way out in the water. Far away.

    • It’s actually bad that they aren’t evacuating the towns nearby or are they hoping to let a bunch die off? Free land afterwards…

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