The lava from the volcano destroys a house in the Los Llanos area, on September 20, 2021, in El Paso, La Palma, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, (Spain). The volcanic eruption that began yesterday at 4:00 p.m. in the Cabeza de Vaca area (La Palma), – Kike Rincón – Europa Press
SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, 5 (EUROPA PRESS)
The volcanic eruption on the island of La Palma, which is now 17 days old, has so far destroyed 726 buildings, of which 605 are homes; 58, buildings for agricultural use; 30, for industrial use; 18, leisure and hospitality; 7, for public use, and 8, for other uses, according to the Cadastre data registered until yesterday afternoon, Monday.
This was reported at a press conference by the technical director of Pevolca, Miguel Ángel Morcuende, who explained that these figures differ, around 400 constructions, from those registered by the Copernicus satellite, since it detects any point that may be a building, which is misleading because in the end they can be a pergola, a precarious chicken coop, an abandoned wench, among other constructions.
Specifically, Miguel Ángel Morcuende reported that the latest data provided by Copernicus speak of 1,154 buildings affected by the eruption, of which 1,046 would have been destroyed by lava and 108 would have been damaged or at risk of collapse. He also indicated that a total of 209 people are staying at the Princess Hotel in Fuencaliente, which is two more than yesterday.
As for the number of people currently working to face the volcanic emergency, counting personnel from the Forward Command Post, the security operative group and the intervention operative group and the logistics group, it amounts to 553 personnel.
On the other hand, the technical director of Pevolca has detailed that the area devastated by the volcano already rises to 420.12 ha, about 6.74 ha more than yesterday, and the perimeter of the affected area, although within there may be areas that are not razed, it is located at 36.24 km. According to Morcuende, this indicates that the streams are flowing where they previously did and have not unfolded. Therefore, the maximum width of the casting remains at 1,250 meters yesterday.
Miguel Ángel Morcuende also explained that the air quality is good and the drop in the concentration of the different parameters that are measured by scientists with respect to the last two days is even greater. Particles smaller than 10 microns, which are responsible for respiratory problems, have also dropped significantly.
This situation, according to Morcuende, is a consequence of the change in atmospheric weather, which makes the entry of the trade wind and the rise in height of the thermal inversion layer make the environment more unstable and gases are released a lot. However, he advanced that this will change in the coming days, as the investment layer will once again be lower and there will be a slight atmospheric worsening.
The technical director of Pevolca explained that the seismic swarm is very centered in the vicinity of where it was the first days, on September 11 and 12, although a little more inclined towards the southeast, which makes it more sense in municipalities such as Fuencaliente and Villa de Mazo. The depth of most of the earthquakes is located between 10-15 km, which indicates a deep or medium deep seismicity.
In this regard, he has wanted to send a message of tranquility to the population, since the parameters indicate that the appearance of some issuing center in these municipalities is “practically nil”.
Earthquakes continue to be recorded at depths greater than 20 kilometers with an increase in the value of their magnitudes. In the last 24 hours dozens of earthquakes have been located, the largest of magnitude 3.9, felt with an intensity IV. The increase in earthquakes and their magnitude may indicate an increase in the probability that more felt earthquakes will occur, which may cause small landslides in sloping areas.
REPORT OF THE SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE.
For her part, the spokesperson for the Pevolca Scientific Committee, María José Blanco, reported that the fissure eruption maintains the strombolian mechanism and the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) continues at 2.
The pouring that began on October 1 from the two centers to the northwest does not show any activity, although the emission centers of the main crater and those located on the sides of the cone are still active, and the appearance of new centers is not ruled out. emission in the environment of the existing center.
It has been verified the construction of lava tubes that favor the drainage of the emission from the wash towards the sea by maintaining the temperature and also the opening of a fissure zone about 100 meters northwest of the already inactive emission centers, with emission of gases and soil at high temperature.
The lava delta or fajana continues its growth fed by several emission points of the lava flow that reaches the sea, already exceeding 36 hectares. The last measure of distance from the front of the fajana to the coastline is 540 meters. The sea plume continues along the edge of the lava delta, producing clouds of water vapor and hydrochloric acid that are concentrated in a small area around the contact.
The affection of the lava delta to the marine environment, verified in some physicochemical parameters and acidity at depths of 0 to 30 meters, seems to affect only a sheet of water of less than 5 meters, reaching a distance of 200 meters from the front.
Visible activity in the extensive fumarolic field on the southeastern flank has ceased. The morphology of the cone changes repeatedly due to the successive processes of growth and reconfiguration. The eruptive process can show episodes of increased and decreased strombolian activity, as well as the appearance of phreatomagmatic pulses. The measured height of the ash and gas column this morning is 4,000 meters.
Regarding the meteorological conditions, at the moment the disposition of the ash cloud and sulfur dioxide (SO2) is northeast-southwest from the eruptive focus and from tomorrow, especially from the second half, a turn is expected of the wind from the northeast to the east and south components above 1,500 meters, decreasing its intensity. This change will distribute the plume towards the north and northeast of La Palma and the expected distribution of the ash cloud from the second half could affect the operation of La Palma Airport and the north slope of the island.
An increase in atmospheric stability and a decrease in the height of the thermal inversion are expected in the coming days, which together with the prevailing breeze regime in low areas of the west slope of La Palma, will be unfavorable meteorological conditions from the point of view of air quality.
During yesterday the emission of sulfur dioxide associated with the plume continues with high values, reaching 1,200 tons per day. Regarding the emission of sulfur dioxide accumulated during the entire eruptive process, it has reached 250,000 tons. Likewise, the diffuse emission of carbon dioxide associated with the Cumbre Vieja ridge, measured yesterday, reaches the value of 1,600 tons per day.