Lava covers more than 150 hectares on La Palma and devastates 320 buildings

The lava that comes out of the ‘Cumbre Vieja’ volcano since it erupted last Sunday has already covered a total of 154 hectares and razed 320 buildings, according to satellite monitoring by the European Union’s Copernicus program.


The eruption continues to show the same fissure eruptive style, with a strombolian mechanism, in a fissure in a north-southwest direction. The new mouth is very close to the other active ones. The approximate average speed of advance of the front of the lava flow is 200 m / h, continuing its advance towards the sea “, with maximum thicknesses of around 10-12 meters.


The Copernicus program, coordinated through the National Center for Monitoring and Coordination of Emergencies (CENEM), has devices for the monitoring and follow-up of national alert networks, potential risk situations, incidents and emergencies in the field of civil protection.


The volcanic traffic light on the island remains red, in an emergency situation, and the eruptive process continues.


In fact, late in the afternoon on Monday a new eruptive mouth was registered 900 meters from the main one, which has forced the preventive eviction of the residents of Tacande, close to the area, in the municipality of El Paso.


Explosive phase


On the other hand, the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcan) reported this malana that the volcano has entered an explosive phase. As they explain, during the last hours of the night of this Tuesday there has been a “strong increase in the amplitude of the volcanic tremor.” In addition, the great thicknesses of the lava wall that advances towards the sea in La Palma, of up to 12 meters in some points, could cause in areas of steeper slope the formation of large fragments of lava that can detach from the front and reach greater distances. It is just over two kilometers which is now far from the sea, according to the residents of La Palma.


The scientific committee that advises the crisis cabinet states that the lava is advancing at a speed of 120 meters per hour and that the deformation of the ground in the area close to the eruption of the volcano amounts to 28 centimeters.


What damage does the sulfur dioxide emitted by the volcano cause?


Another major problem associated with the eruption is the large amount of ash and smoke that causes between 6,140 and 11,500 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2) being emitted into the atmosphere every day, according to measurements made by the Volcanological Institute. of the Canary Islands (Involcan). Sulfur dioxide is an irritating and toxic gas whose concentration for short periods of time is very harmful to ecosystems and health, since it can irritate the respiratory tract, cause bronchitis, asthmatic reactions, reflex spasms, respiratory arrest and congest the bronchial ducts of asthmatics.