Society 10/10/2021

New lava flow from La Palma volcano drags down blocks like three-storey houses

Large explosions vibrate ground and glass up to six kilometres away from the cone during the night

2 min

BarcelonaThe new river of lava that was released on Saturday due to the collapse of the north face of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, on the island of La Palma, is carrying blocks of rock the size of a three-storey building, according to the Geological and Mining Institute of Spain (IGME), which has also published a video recorded from a drone, from very close to the new flow, in which the strength with which it descends and the size of the blocks it drags, "equivalent to a three-storey house", can be seen.

The north face of the volcano had already suffered a partial rupture during the previous morning and finished sinking yesterday at 19.15, according to the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcan). The technical director of the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca), Miguel Ángel Moncuende, explained yesterday that they are monitoring one of the new lava flows that is advancing towards Paraíso street in the town of El Paso, but that for now "it has lost all its strength", because it has ended up where there was already a lava flow. Those responsible for Pevolca have asked neighbours to keep calm and state they are closely monitoring the lava flows and that if something happens that would require to take any action it would be announced "clearly and quickly".

The new flow, with temperatures of up to 1,240 degrees, has destroyed the few buildings that remained standing north of Todoque, according to Involcan. Until Sunday, the lava has already devastated 497 hectares and 1,186 buildings, according to the European Copernicus system. Involcan has also released a video of a lava front swallowing the industrial estate of Ando de la Gata, in Llanos de Aridane.

On the other hand, the association Volcanoes of the Canary Islands, formed by geologists and amateurs, has warned, according to Efe agency, that the volcano has gone through a phase of "highly noisy, energetic and sustained" explosions that has caused "vibration of the ground, vehicles and glass" in a radius of up to six kilometers from the cone. The National Geographic Institute has also detected 21 seismic movements on the island on Sunday, with a maximum magnitude of 3.8 in an earthquake, with the epicenter at 34 kilometers deep, which has occurred around three o'clock in the morning in the municipality of Mazo.