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The volcano on La Palma threatens to increase its destruction after four weeks of eruption

The delta created by the lava from the volcano already has an area of ​​about 40 hectares, almost the size of the Vatican.

The delta created by the lava from the volcano already has an area of ​​about 40 hectares, almost the size of the Vatican.

Photo: Marcos del Mazo / Getty Images

The Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma has reached full activity and threatens to increase its devastation, four weeks after the eruption began on September 19.

The technicians emphasize that new emission centers were not opened, although it is not ruled out that they may appear later, since the earth continues to shake, with a maximum magnitude of the earthquakes in the last hours of 4.3 degrees on the Richter scale, 35 kilometers deep.

The volcano is in tip-top shape. When the eruptions are near the end there is a general decrease in all observable parameters, and we still don’t see those signs, which does not mean that we will see them tomorrow ”, explained to EFE the director of the National Geophysical Observatory, Carmen López.

Impact in figures

Four weeks after the first eruption, on September 19, the sight of lava running along the slopes of the mountain and the high plume of smoke that gives off the volcano, leaving a rarefied air on the island, still impresses.

But as much as the specialists say that the evolution of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma is “normal”, it never ceases to amaze the data that it has left in a month of activity.

The lava that the volcano spews without stopping, with more intensity even in recent days, occupied a surface close to 750 hectares; destroyed almost a thousand houses and more than 200 hectares of agricultural land, mainly banana trees, the main crop of La Palma, like the rest of the Canary Islands.

To this must be added more than 7,000 people evacuated from their homes, although the most important thing is that, thanks to the deployment of scientific and emergency teams that have been working on the island for more than a month, not a single life was lost, nor was anyone injured.

Third wash with energy towards the sea

One of the three streams that emerged from the volcano has “energy and charge” to reach the sea, since it is about 200 meters from the west coast of the island, although scientists do not know when this will happen.

This casting, which advances at 15 meters per hour with a temperature of 1,270 degrees Celsius, as specified today by the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcan), it is one of the two with the highest load of lava, while the original one is fed in a very weak way.

Before it reaches the sea, the authorities will recommend the confinement of the population since the forecast is that once the lava reaches the sea, there will be “Small explosions” and hydrochloric acid releases, reported this Sunday the technical director of the Volcanic Emergency Plan of the Canary Islands (Pevolca), Miguel Ángel Morcuende.

If it reaches the sea, it would be the second wash to do so, and the first one has already created a lava delta on the coast of an area of ​​36 hectares, almost like the State of the Vatican.

La Palma is a volcanic island, like the rest of the Canary archipelago, which in the last five centuries recorded 16 eruptions, concentrated on four islands: Tenerife, La Palma, El Hierro and Lanzarote.

The one known as “the beautiful island”, due to the greenness of its landscape, has suffered eight eruptions since there are records, including the current one; the previous one took place in 1971.

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