Magnitude 5 earthquake shakes La Palma as lava streams stabilize
Santa Cruz de La Palma, Spain, Nov 11 (EFE).- A magnitude 5 earthquake shook the island of La Palma Thursday morning, where a volcanic eruption has been underway for nearly two months.
According to the National Geographic Institute the earthquake took place at 3.37am in Villa de Mazo and was recorded 37 kilometers deep.
This was one of the strongest earthquakes registered on the island since the Cumbre Vieja volcano started erupting on 19 September.
The lava streams gushing from the volcano were stable Thursday morning following a spectacular event which saw a magma stream pour red-hot lava into the Atlantic Ocean on the Los Guirres beach creating a new delta of molten rock in the early hours of Wednesday.
CSIC Volcanologist Vicente Soler said a new column of lava was heading towards Las Manchas but that it had lost momentum in recent hours.
According to the latest data, the total area affected by lava has already exceeded a thousand hectares, the equivalent of 1,868 football fields.
The five municipalities on the western side of the island which have suffered from bad air quality were enjoying an improvement with low levels of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions, the Department of Homeland Security said.
An ash cloud was moving west, ensuring favorable conditions for La Palma airport operations. EFE