The Spanish island La Palma's volcano has shown no signs of stopping since it erupted on September 29. On Sunday, October 31, it even spewed greater quantities of ash from its main mouth after producing the strongest earthquake recorded on the island.
The European Union's satellite monitoring service showed that lava flows descending toward the Atlantic Ocean had covered 970 hectares since the volcano erupted. More so, it has destroyed more than 2,000 buildings that led to the forced evacuation of over 7,000 people.
Canary Islands Volcano Still Erupting, Imminent Ash Worries Residents
According to Euronews, the volcano that erupted on the Spanish island of La Palma continues to erupt six weeks after its first eruption, leading to vast amounts of lava and ash covering buildings and farmland.
Both the Spanish military emergency unit (UME) and Spain's ground army were working together to remove ash from the roofs of buildings in the exclusion area. UME officials reported that some lava flows had reached a height of 40 meters or over 130 feet, while strong magma overflows from the previous days did not advance much.
Smithsonian Institution reported that the explosions at La Palma from October 20-26 were characterized as Strombolian explosions wherein lava fountains from multiple vents and advancing and branching lava flows were recorded as well as daily ash emissions.
On October 19 at 22:48 PM, a 4.8 magnitude earthquake was recorded, and another at magnitude 4.9 on 16:34 P< on October 23. Both earthquakes were felt across La Palma and other parts of the Gomera and Tenerife islands.
Moreover, the vents in the main core continue to eject lava, tephra, billowing ash, and gas plumes that rose to 9,200-13,200 feet (2.8-4 kilometers). Four of them were active at varying intensities throughout the week. Meanwhile, sulfur dioxide emissions from the volcanic eruption fluctuated at high levels between 3,200 and 53,600 tons per day.
La Palma Islands Turns Into Tourist Spot This Holiday
According to Phys.org, Canary Islands authorities, of which La Palma is a part, reported no injuries caused by lave contact or inhaling toxic gas that accompanies the volcanic activity.
Predicting when the volcanic eruption will stop is still challenging due to the continuous flow of lava and emerging ash and gases to the surface that shows geological activity is happening deep down the Earth that is far from the reach of available technology.
Cornell University geochemist Esteban Gazel said that one of the reasons is that the Canary Islands are closely connected to thermal anomalies that go as deep as the Earth's core.
But other than the western side of La Palma, life continues as normal for the 85,000 residents of the Spanish island except for the massive volcanic ashes they have to clean.
Despite this natural disaster, the volcanic activity on the island has also made La Palma a tourist spot this All Saints' day, a Catholic festivity that honors the dead on November 1.
La Palma authorities estimated some 10,000 visitors over the long weekend, noting that 90% of accommodations on the island are already fully booked. They have prepared a shuttle bus service for tourists who want to glimpse the erupting volcano to prevent private cars from the main roads so emergency services can still do their jobs without being disturbed.
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