Involcan records another seismic swarm in La Palma but rules out any eruption

2020/10/20 08:03:37 Written by Canarian Weekly Tenerife

The Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcan), reported another 28 low-magnitude seismic events in the area of ​​Cumbre Vieja, in La Palma yesterday, but also sent a message to people worried by the activity that "the probability of an eruption in the short term is very very low, according to the data and knowledge that we have to date."

21 were located, as was determined by their hypocenters, in the same area, at depths of approximately five kilometres. "This seismic activity on La Palma does not represent any danger either for the island’s residents, or for those who visit it," the experts stressed.

They explained that "active volcanic systems, throughout their geological history, experience several eruptive cycles, and each of them is characterized by four phases: inter-eruptive, pre-eruptive, eruptive and post-eruptive."

In the case of the La Palma volcano, it has gone through up to seven of these stages during the last 550 years, "we know from historical records that seven of the 16 eruptions that have occurred in the Canary Islands have been in Cumbre Vieja." Moreover, they clarified that "since the end of the post-eruptive phase linked to the eruption of Teneguía in 1971, the volcano is in the category of ‘inter-eruptive’, a condition that it has been in for almost 50 years."

They concluded by ensuring that this situation has not changed for Cumbre Vieja despite the recent seismic swarms which occurred in October 2017, February 2018, in now in July and October 2020, considering that "they have to meet another series of criteria to move to the ‘pre-eruptive’ phase. Ultimately this means that, the probability of an eruption is 1.3% for a time window of one year."