The lava opens two new paths and threatens another area of ​​the island

In the last hours, the lava has opened up two new paths that the scientific committee is assessing to determine if it is passing toward the coast next to previous lava flows or is entering a new area.

A seismologist at the National Geographic Institute (IGN), Itiza Dominguez, explains that one of the new flows formed after the fracture of the secondary cone that had been formed, which has been erupting in recent days. lava reaching the sea And that he won a land of more than 17 hectares, in what is called Fajana or Low Island.

“It is currently being evaluated whether that lava joins the main lava. It is still too early to tell,” he explains.

The other path formed early in the morning after a new mouth opened a few meters northwest of the main cone. This new source of emissions is the release of lava that flows away from the main stream that goes into the sea.

“It appears to be a new path but it needs to be confirmed,” Dominguez points out, referring to it so far It is not known how long they will remain active those washes.

Lava continues to advance on the island of La Palma, and its development is unpredictable. Photo: Reuters

unexpected progress

Volcanologist Juan Carlos Carracedo explains that the two new lava tracks that were formed follow the law of gravity and maximum slope, though he cautions, This path is changing by the eruption itself.

“There is lava forming, cooling and adjusting the previous slope and new one looking for the path depending on the terrain being created at each moment,” he points out.

This expert warns that it is “normal” for mouths to reappear, pop out and reappear during an eruption.

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“There are mouths that release lava that shards and cools on contact with the atmosphere, blocking other mouths, while new ones appear and so on,” he explains.

“The problem is not in the mouth itself, but in where that lava will pass,” he adds.

Canary volcanic eruption

Giant lava delta

Regarding the terrain in which this volcano is located wins by seaCaracedo is convinced that the size of the lava delta will exceed the size that caused the eruption of San Juan in 1949.

Its morphology would be similar to the deltas that created earlier volcanic eruptions and those that host today’s banana plantations. This is the case of the region of La Bombilla, which formed the San Juan Volcano, or the coastal strip between Puerto Naos and El Remo, which was born with the eruption of the Tehuya volcano in 1585.

As Caracedo explains, the delta will “continue to grow” at the erosion level of a coastal platform that formed in the last Ice Age, when sea level was 80-90 meters below, which is flat and shallow.

“When this platform is finished, the depth will increase rapidly, up to 300 metres, and there will not be enough lava, no matter how much the volcano has emitted, to create that delta because it will go to the bottom,” says Caracedo. , which indicates that the “growth limit” of the delta will be when the coastal level, which ranges from 0 to 80 metres, ends. “This will be the top where we’ll see it appear,” he says.

Pay attention to air quality

In addition to unlocking new emitting points, which indicates the strength of the volcano it has, ash emission and volcanic oxidation have increased. The volume of the magma it releases is somewhat larger, about two centimeters.

Says Dominguez, who sends a message Calm and calm For cheerleaders it is recommended to use goggles and an FFP2 mask.

Regarding the marine plume formed by the collision of lava with the sea, Air quality on the island remains good despite increased sulfur dioxide emissions.

Residents of four nearby towns but outside the exclusion zone (2.5 km) continue to do so confined Residents of Tazacorte are advised to stay at home.

Despite the smoke and ash, experts say that the air quality is not harmful to health on the island of La Palma.  Photo: EFE

Despite the smoke and ash, experts say that the air quality is not harmful to health on the island of La Palma. Photo: EFE

“big” duration

Carracedo asserts that the La Palma volcano is currently “in full force” and there is no indication that it will lose its eruption rate in the next few days, which is estimated to be at “big” duration.

As he explains, This eruption “has a very large scale” Taking into account the large amounts of lava it has released in the twelve days it has been active.

“It is one of the largest volcanoes that have existed in historical times in La Palma,” Carracedo points out, remembering that in its first week it had already released 46.3 million cubic meters of lava, surpassing that emitted by Tinguya on its 24 eruption days and that was 43 million. .

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damaged roads

More than 20 kilometers of roads were affected and lava exceeded 338 hectares, including about 17 hectares corresponding to the new Fagana being created on the coast of Tazacorte which is about half a kilometer wide.

Last night they signed up Eight new earthquakes, the most intense in the municipality of Mazo, with a magnitude of 3.5 degrees and a depth of 13 km.

The Minister of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory, Felix Bolanos, emphasized that rebuilding the “life projects” for those who “lost everything” due to the eruption of the volcano on the island is an “absolute priority” of the government.

In doing so, he expressed his “total solidarity with the people who are losing everything, their homes and their possessions.”

“I’m confused, and the reality is really overwhelming, because it’s not just about taking over homes and buildings, but there are life projects that are heavily affected by lava flows that are taking everything away,” he stated.

Bolanos wanted to make this clear to the Palmeros people “The government of Spain will be with them.” And that “the island of La Palma is an absolute priority”, as well as it is working “counterclockwise” to take measures to mitigate what happened.

He admitted that he does not yet know “how many days we will face in the event of an emergency”, but stressed that they and will continue to “work with” all “forces”. “We will continue to work when the volcano stops, because for the government it is an absolute priority.”

By Silvia Fernandez, from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

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