Disasters & Accidents

‘Tsunami of lava’ gushes out of La Palma volcano

Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, Oct 15 (EFE).- Geologists on Friday have described a ‘tsunami of lava’ gushing out of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma as emergency services remain on standby monitoring the situation closely.

“Today one of our crew was able to film a lava ‘tsunami’. Amazing speed and overflow of the lava channel,” The Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcan) posted on Twitter.

The volcano, which started erupting on September 19, continues to behave like a strombolian eruption with intermittent explosions and relatively mild blasts, the Department of National Security of Spain (DSN) said.

Two large rivers of lava continue to flow from the volcano’s vent.

The original stream branches into three rivers, two to the south of the Todoque mountain, one of which is forging a vast lava delta as it meets the Atlantic Ocean, and another located above the mountain. Lava flows continue to weaken and lessen in these streams.

However, the lava stream that emerged on the northern flank of the volcanic cone after it partially collapsed is the one that has experts on alert. The dense river of molten rock branches out into two flows, one of which is very broad and is moving at a high intensity and another which on Thursday flattened areas of an industrial complex in the La Laguna neighborhood.

Some 300 people were evacuated on Friday morning, bringing the total number of evacuees since the eruption began to 6,800, according to the latest report from Spain’s National Geographic Institute.

“Significant surface seismicity is not being recorded,” the report added, and air quality is “reasonably good,” which has allowed La Palma airport to remain open and operational.

A tanker with a capacity of 7,500 cubic meters, sent by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO), docked on Thursday in the port of Tazacorte on the island of La Palma.

The tanker and two portable desalination plants that are being installed in Puerto Naos, will provide water primarily for banana plantations, which are the cornerstone of the Canary Islands’ economy.EFE

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