The lava from the La Palma volcano has already covered 840 hectares
There are currently four pyroclastic emission centers, with intermittent activity
Colada 8 and Colada 10, the northernmost of the eruption and that on Wednesday forced the evacuation of the neighborhoods located to the northwest, have ended up joining and seem to be heading southwest to pass under the mountain of La Laguna, taking advantage of a trough to pass through said address, as reported by the technical director of Pevolca, Miguel Angel Morcuende, who pointed out that in the next few hours it could be seen how this wash could jump into a nearby basin and I finished down the road towards the coast. This probability is what led the Pevolca Steering Committee to adopt Civil Protection measures last Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. to evacuate neighbors from Las Martelas, Marina Alta, Marina Baja, La Condesa and Cuesta Zapata, due to the advance of the washings and in anticipation that these flowed towards these neighborhoods.
The surface covered by the lava flows of the new volcano of La Palma is already 840 hectares, according to the report of the Pevolca Steering Committee published this Thursday. A document in which The appearance of new broadcasting centers is not ruled out in the environment of the main cone, as well as other surface observables (visible gas emissions) within the exclusion zone. The morphology of the cone changes repeatedly due to the successive processes of growth and reconfiguration.
Pevolca’s scientific advisor, María José Blanco, has indicated that the eruptive process can show episodes of increased and decreased strombolian activity, as well as pulses with phreatomagmatic activity, while the ash and gas column height measured today, as well as its dispersion, reaches 4,000 meters in height.
Continues the prevalence of the north to northeast wind in the lower and middle-lower troposphere (up to about 3,000-4,000 m). The ash and SO2 cloud is disposed towards the south-southwest of the eruptive focus and is expected to continue like this for the next 36-48 hours. This plume position is a favorable scenario, both for the operation of La Palma airport, and for the rest of the Canary Islands airports. The areas most affected by the ash fall would be those in the vicinity of the eruptive focus and to the south and southwest. Arrival of fine ash to El Hierro is not ruled out. Thermal inversion continues its gradual rise in altitude, recovering normal values for the time as of tomorrow. The increase in the altitude of the inversion together with the intensification of the northeast wind causes the dispersion of pollutants to be favored. Probability of light rains in the north and east of La Palma on Friday and Saturday.
The fissure eruption continues to show strombolian mechanism (that is, a mixed nature mechanism, with explosive phases that produce pyroclastic deposits and effusive phases that simultaneously produce lava flows), now with a predominance of the effusive phase. In volcanology, the magnitude of volcanic eruptions is measured on the scale of the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) with values between 0 and 8; in the case of this eruption, the estimated VEI is 2.
The main flow of the lava flows runs along the north flank, down the northern part of the previous flows, following trajectories towards the west and northwest, within the current exclusion zone. At the outlet of the emission center, the flow is concentrated in a stepped lava channel. Its momentary plugging and the oscillations of the lava flow, originate specific overflows that form ephemeral flows that spill laterally on the main cone and previous flows. Later this channel branches out into channels, some of which have developed volcanic tubes. The emission centers of the crater are still active. There are currently four pyroclastic emission centers, with intermittent activity, and one with lava emission. The lava flow that runs south of Montaña de La Laguna slowly advances towards the coast. The wash towards La Laguna continues active.
Seismicity continues to be located, mainly, close to the seismicity of the first days, at depths between 10 and 15 kilometers. There are also earthquakes located at depths greater than 20 km, which in the last hours continue to be of high magnitude and less frequent. The high values of the amplitude of the tremor signal are maintained, with intensification pulses. The maximum magnitude observed was 4.3 mbLg of an event at a depth of 37 km, with intensity IV EMS. The high seismicity recorded at intermediate and deep depths is part of the same current eruptive process. No significant surface seismicity is recorded. The current level of seismicity continues to indicate that it is possible that more felt earthquakes may occur, being able to reach VI intensities (EMS) and cause small landslides in sloping areas. Relevant information on this topic is included in the Recommendations section of the report. The deformation shows a pattern of stability around the eruptive center and a slight regional deflation of deep origin detected in the stations furthest from the eruptive center.
Emission of gases
During yesterday (10/20), the emission of sulfur dioxide (SO2) associated with the volcanic plume (visible emanations of volcanic gases) continues to register high values, reaching values of 2,710 tons per day (underestimated value). Likewise, the diffuse emission of carbon dioxide (CO2), associated with the 220 km2 of the volcanic ridge of Cumbre Vieja (non-visible emanations of volcanic gases), reflects a downward trend during the last 8 days and has been estimated at 663 tons per day as of 10/20. The monitoring of the diffuse flow of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the geochemical station of Los Llanos (LP10) reflects a higher magmatic-hydrothermal fraction than that observed in the geochemical station of Fuencaliente (LP08). All these geochemical observations are consistent with the current eruptive process.
Regarding air quality, regarding sulfur dioxide (SO2), during the early morning and yesterday morning high values were recorded at the Puntagorda station, with an hourly threshold exceeded (established at 350 µg / m³) at 03:00 and that maintained high values until approximately 13:00. This event ultimately meant that the daily threshold (established at 125 µg / m³) was exceeded at said station. In the rest of the stations, low values and there was no exceedance of the hourly or daily thresholds. During this day, low SO2 values are being recorded in all of the island’s stations. With regard to particles smaller than 10 microns (PM10), yesterday a general decrease in concentrations was observed, due to the weakening of the Saharan intrusion episode that we have been observing in recent days. However, high intensity episodes were recorded in PM10 concentrations at the Los Llanos and El Pilar stations (Santa Cruz de La Palma), mainly related to the resuspension of the ashes due to the increase in wind intensity as well as by road traffic on the roads near the stations. These events have caused the daily threshold (established at 50 µg / m³) to be exceeded in these two stations. In the rest of the stations this threshold has not been exceeded. Today, hourly values lower than the daily threshold are being recorded.
For his part, the technical director of Pevolca, Miguel Angel Morcuende, recalled that on Wednesday afternoon from the Pevolca it was decided to adopt as a Civil Protection measure the evacuation of the residents of Las Martelas, Marina Alta, Marina Baja, La Condesa and Cuesta Zapata, due to the advance of the washings and in anticipation that these flowed towards these neighborhoods. There are 416 people housed, 47 more than until Wednesday, of which 375 are relocated in Fuencaliete and the rest in Los llanos de Aridane. On Wednesday 150 people were evacuated, although in reality 45 neighbors were evacuated, which means that the rest of the people had already left their homes previously.
Morcuende pointed out that the maximum width of the run is still 2,900 meters, without it having changed practically in the last few days. The northernmost wash has been “practically maintained for a week, with about 120 meters from the coast.”
According to Copernicus, there are 2,185 buildings destroyed, of which 76 are at risk of being damaged and a total of 2,261 buildings affected. Despite the information given by this tool, according to the cadastre, 1,196 buildings would have been destroyed, of which 963 are for residential use, 124 for agricultural use, 57 for industrial use, 27 for hotel and leisure use, 10 for public use and 14 other uses. Morcuende stated that seismicity continues to occur in middle and high areas at depth and in the same area.
To questions from the journalists about the rescue of the four dogs that were isolated but that have not been located for at least one or two days, suspecting that they have been rescued on foot, Morcuende said that It seems “despicable” that there are people skipping the exclusion perimeter of lava flows because they are set to guarantee the health of the population.
Regarding the rescue of these dogs trapped in Todoque, he commented that The management of Pevolca did what it had to do to organize the device but they have not “communicated anything” about the situation of the podencos. Thus, he has reported that “The first thing” they did when they found out about the situation was “try to feed them” and therefore “food and water were sent” with drones and they managed to recover physically,
Afterwards, it was requested a rescue by land that was ruled out because the scientific committee stated that “it was not possible” And three days ago, a drone company presented a rescue plan by air that after several tests was approved. “I don’t know anything else, they haven’t told me anything. We have done what we had to do”, he asserted.