Lava from the volcano has increased the coast of La Palma by almost 20 hectares (and particles have already reached the Azores)


Carlos de Saa / EPA

Eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano in La Palma, Canary Islands.

The lava expelled by the Cumbre Vieja volcano since the beginning of its eruption covers 709 hectares, including the surface that has been recovered from the sea since the night of 28 September.

The lava that fell into the sea from the volcano of La Palma, in the Canaries, covers a surface of more than 20 hectares, according to an estimate made by the European Space Agency (ESA).

Based on an image from the European Copernicus satellite system taken on Wednesday, the lava that the volcano has expelled since its eruption began on September 19 covers 709 hectares, including the volcano. surface that was recovered from the sea since the night of September 28, and hit 1,005 buildings, of which 870 were destroyed.

The number of kilometers of affected roads has also increased to 30.2 km, of which 27.7 km were destroyed by the lava flow.

the volcano emitted 80 million cubic meters of material since its eruption began, put forward the president of the Spanish region of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres.

78805a221a988e79ef3f42d7c5bfd418 Lava from the volcano has increased the coast of La Palma by almost 20 hectares (and particles have already reached the Azores)

Lava from the Cumbre Vieja volcano, in La Palma, reaching the sea

The lava flow that emerges from the two new sending centers the Cumbre Vieja volcano seeks to join the original lava flow as it advances towards the sea.

The technical director of the Spanish Volcanic Risk Prevention Plan, Miguel Ángel Morcuende, and the director of the National Geographic Institute in the Canary Islands, María José Blanco, explained that these two emission centers, which opened in the early hours of the morning, are about approx. 15 meters away and 600 meters from the main cone.

With these two new outlets, there are now four lava spots that emit in the volcano in La Palma, which, according to Morcuende, maintains an “intense” activity.

The technician explained that the two lava flows are advancing along a favorable topography and are seeking join the first stream that emerged during the eruption, crossed the LP-211 road and continues its evolution to lower levels.

On the other hand, after the lava flow reached the sea, the Military Emergency Unit (UME) detected occasional spikes in certain areas where air quality exceeds required levels, which does not mean that there is currently a risk to the health of the population, according to Lieutenant General Luis Manuel Martínez Meijide.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano has been active and spewing lava for almost two weeks and despite this situation there were no deaths or injuries to mourn among the island’s 85,000 inhabitants, but the damage is enormous, according to regional authorities.

Some of the particles emitted by the volcano will have arrived in the Azores, causing a “significant reduction in horizontal visibility”, advances the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA). “According to the forecast results of the atmospheric monitoring service of the Copernicus program (CAMS), some of these particles will have arrived in the Azores archipelago in the form of sulfate aerosol”, reads the press release.

The IPMA emphasizes that the sulfate aerosol “results from the liquid phase reaction of sulfur dioxide with water”, forming “small liquid particles”. These particles, which can be “transported by the wind”, have “optical properties that contribute to a greater dispersion of light and, consequently, cause a reduction in visibility”.

“Since the 29th, the observations of the IPMA confirm a significant reduction the horizontal visibility of these particles in the central and eastern groups of the Azores, which should be found mainly in a layer below 800 meters of altitude”, the statement said.

The IPMA also refers that the “high humidity” registered in the Azores will have “increased the size of the particles”.

The institute said it was studying the possibility that a chemical reaction caused by the volcano at La Palma was creating a “fog” around some islands of the Azores, a possibility now confirmed.