The first people are evacuated in La Palma as a precaution against the risk of eruption
The Scientific Committee of the Special Plan for Civil Protection and Attention to Emergencies due to Volcanic Risk (PEVOLCA), has recommended this morning that the preventive evacuation of the population at risk should start, after verifying that the seismic activity has reached its maximum since it started over a week ago.
Based on this information, the Steering Committee has decided to begin evacuating, as a priority, people with reduced mobility in the population centres of Las Manchas, which includes the municipalities of El Paso and Los llanos; El Charco (Fuencaliente), La Bombilla (Los Llanos and Tazacorte) and El Remo and Puerto Naos (Los Llanos).
The volcanic traffic light remains at yellow, although civil protection actions are intensifying and the Technical Directorate is empowered to program the selective evacuation of other areas of the Cumbre Vieja, if necessary, under the coordination of the Cabildo and the city councils.
Experts have indicated that seismic activity continues to intensify with a quake of 4.2 measured at 11.15am this morning, in addition, the deformations of the surface have increased to 15cm (5cm in the last 24 hours) in Las Manchas and Jedey, where most of the areas are occurring.
Because of this, the committee considers the occurrence of stronger earthquakes of greater intensity likely, which could cause damage to infrastructures. They can also cause rockslides on sections of the LP-2 highway between Fuencaliente and Las Manchas, and on the LP-3 in the access to the Santa Cruz de La Palma-El Paso tunnel, and other areas with steep slopes, especially if the seismicity exceeds a magnitude of 4.
Experts are asking the public to inform the authorities if they observe any anomaly, and that the activity is continuing to increase and may have a short-term evolution. At this time we are in the pre-eruptive phase, which increases the probability that it will culminate in an eruption, without being able to establish a time scale.
Before a volcanic eruption, there is a gradual increase in seismic activity, which can last for a long time and can be felt by the population. The Scientific Committee advise that:
- In the case of feeling an earthquake inside a building, take cover under a door frame or a solid piece of furniture, such as a table, and stand away from windows.
- Don't use the elevator if you are in a block.
- If you have to leave your home, disconnect water, electricity and gas.
- If you are outside, stay away from tall buildings, lamp posts, billboards, etc. and if you are close to the sea, stay away from the shore.
- In the event of evacuation, your City Council will inform you of the evacuation routes and the established meeting points. Evacuation will only happen when the indications are given to do so.
- From a preventive point of view, choose a family member or friend as a point of reference to let you know where you are going in the event of an evacuation and make sure the rest of your family knows about it.
- If you live with disabled people who need a special evacuation (ambulance), notify the Department of Social Affairs of the City Council.
- Have a means of communication available, preferably a mobile phone with a charger, as well as a battery-operated radio, flashlight, candles and spare batteries and follow the instructions transmitted by the competent authorities through television and radio.
- The communication of the evacuation will be made through mobile public address with the Local Police, broadcasting media, or any other that is established.
- Make sure you have enough medication for family members who need it on a regular basis. It is advisable to keep the personal documentation of the whole family and the home in a folder.
- It is advised to have bottled water. The drinking water supply could be affected.
- It is recommended to have basic and non-perishable foods for a few days.
- If possible, keep your vehicle's fuel tank full. Petrol stations could be closed.