Volcano in the Canary Islands: La Palma airport closed, update on the eruption in pictures

Two months after its eruption, the Cumbre Vieja volcano has been experiencing a resurgence of activity for a few days, leading to the cancellation of many flights to and from La Palma airport in the Canary Islands.

Volcano in the Canary Islands: La Palma airport closed, update on the eruption in pictures

Two months after its eruption, the Cumbre Vieja volcano has been experiencing a resurgence of activity for a few days, leading to the cancellation of many flights to and from La Palma airport in the Canary Islands. Info and new photos.

[Updated November 22, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.] Two months after the start of the eruption on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands, the Cumbre Vieja volcano continues to spit lava and cause extensive damage. Friday, November 19, the island recorded the largest earthquake in two months and lava flows increased another 8 hectares. One victim is to be deplored, a man found dead in the town of El Paso, a closed part of the island. In total, the lava flows covered over 1000 hectares. Several thousand buildings, including houses and plantations were destroyed. Hundreds of residents have been forced from their homes and relocated since the eruption began.

Following the renewed activity of the volcano for a few days, the airport of La Palma was closed and the connections interrupted this weekend. The airlines Binter, Iberia Express, or CanaryFly have thus been impacted. A resumption of flights is expected this Monday, November 22, 2021 during the day.

If the volcano has been emitting less lava for several days after a period of intense activity, "that does not mean that the eruption will stop", said Carmen Lopez, spokesperson for the scientific committee of the Emergency Plan volcano of the Canary Islands (Pevolca) cited by Cadena Ser.

Several sites offer to follow the eruption of Cumbre Vieja on video. Most often, these live broadcasts are based on nearby webcams, with broadcasts then taking place most often via Youtube. Note the live broadcast of Spanish television RTVE, which allows you to watch the lava flows live.

The island of La Palma is part of the Canary archipelago where volcanoes are numerous. The Cumbre Vieja volcano had not erupted for 50 years. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the Canary Islands and was thus under close surveillance for several years. As early as 2017, intense activity had been detected. On September 11, 2021, this activity redoubled, followed by numerous seismic tremors and it was on September 19, 2021 that the first effusions of lava were observed, followed by an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.1 which opened a second eruptive mouth. The evacuations of the population had already begun but the destruction was numerous and rapid: road cuts, houses ravaged and destroyed by the lava flows, significant ashes...

After having done a lot of damage in its path, the lava from the volcano had reached the sea on September 28. According to Fernando Tuya, a biodiversity and conservation researcher at the University of Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, the first effects of the lava entering the sea are "devastating" with "the direct death of organisms that are going to be buried". under the casting. In the long term, however, this could be "good news" for marine life which could be "enriched". By flowing into the ocean, the lava solidifies and forms a huge land, which already measures 30 hectares.

"The lava will form a rocky platform which will be a substrate for many marine species which will be able to colonize it in the future, that is to say in three to five years", continues this scientist, according to whom phytoplankton could also be enriched by the iron contained in the magma. Dreaded by experts, the encounter between the lava and the sea did not lead to the most feared effects such as explosions of volcanic material. However, it did produce potentially toxic gases. In order to avoid poisoning, a security perimeter with a radius of 3.5 kilometers has been set up as well as a maritime exclusion zone of two nautical miles. The island's government has also asked residents of several neighborhoods in Tazacorte, a town where lava flowed into the sea, to seal their homes.

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