LA PALMA: Activity soars, more lava, new emission points, earthquakes increase
After 37 days of intense activity, yesterday was one of the most violent days of the eruption in La Palma so far with increased activity as a large volume of magmatic material was emitted that transformed the shape of the cone, opened new emission centres, and caused overflows and rivers of lava. In addition, seismic activity at medium depths has increased in frequency and magnitude, so scientists have warned the population to be prepared to feel earthquakes of intensity VI, which can cause damage to buildings.
"We are at the moment of greatest activity," David Calvo, spokesman for the Canary Islands Volcanological Institute, said last night. In fact, yesterday the highest daily amount of sulphur dioxide was emitted since the beginning of the eruption, a total of 53,600 tons, explained María José Blanco, spokeswoman for the scientific committee in Pevolca, at a press conference.
This data removes the possibility that the end of the eruption is near because the volume of SO2 would have to drop considerably before seeing any signs of it easing up.
MAIN POINTS OF ACTIVITY:
- The volcano emitted 53,600 tons of sulphur dioxide yesterday, the highest daily amount recorded.
- 270 mid-depth earthquakes since Sunday.
- Seismic activity is growing along with the effusive activity of the volcano.
Last night at around 7.15pm, another collapse of part of the main cone opened a new emission point for lava to flow from, on the west flank of the main cone, with a high emission rate. According to Blanco: “After the reconfiguration of the main cone, an enormous amount of lava has been emitted, large flows have been created and the lava is moving through the west area following the path of the 1st flow, and the 4th flow, to the north of the mountain of Todoque.”
This frenzied eruptive activity has also been seen in the intensity of the ‘noise’ caused by the outflow of lava, which has increased considerably since Sunday, with more regular earthquakes of magnitude 4 at mid-depths between 10-15kms. The IGN said that "We clearly have a large lava outlet and this has caused the repositioning of the material at depth, and that is reflected in the tremors."