Disasters & Accidents

La Palma volcano forges new river of fiery magma

Santa Cruz de la Palma, Spain, Nov 17 (EFE).- A new and fast-moving river of lava is heading for the Atlantic Ocean in La Palma Thursday, where a volcanic eruption has been under way for nearly two months.

The stream of red-hot magma is traveling at a swift speed of 70 meters an hour between the mountains of Todoque and La Laguna. Once it reaches the sea this will be the third time lava pours into the Atlantic Ocean since the Cumbre Vieja volcano started erupting on September 19.

The volcano continues to spew a steady volume of lava, which is flowing through the central area, while the density of magma flows travelling underground through lava tubes towards the molten rock deltas has slowed, Spain’s Department of National Security (DSN) reported.

A notable uptick in seismic activity, which started Tuesday, has been recorded at intermediate depths.

The National Geographic Institute (IGN) recorded 68 earthquakes in La Palma by early Thursday, the largest was a magnitude 4.4 earthquake registered 34 kilometers underground in Fuencaliente.

A record 300 earthquakes took place on Wednesday, the highest number in a single day since the volcano started erupting.

This rebound in activity has come after a downward trend in several indicators of the volcano’s activity.

According to experts, the increase in seismicity combined with high ash output, which triggered an alert of unfavourable air quality levels, could be due to a readjustment of the volcanic system.

So far, the Cumbre Vieja volcano has spewed the same amount of sulfur dioxide in two months as 28 European Union countries produced in 2019, according to experts from the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands and the University of Manchester (United Kingdom).

When assessing the sulfur dioxide output, the scientists concluded that the Spanish volcano was emitting seven times more gas than the EU combined. EFE

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