The emission of sulfur dioxide (SO2) has shot up again with a rate of between 30,000 and 49,999 tons per day, which together with the appearance of new nozzles and other pouring, the rebound in tremor and seismicity makes us think the scientists that eruption remains for a while.
So much so that “perhaps we will overcome” the 84 days of the eruption of Tehuya (1646), the longest in the last 500 years on La Palma, Francisco Prieto, spokesman for the Emergency Plan steering committee, admitted at a press conference. Canary Islands (Pevolca).
“Unfortunately, the forecast is that the eruption will not end in the short term,” added Prieto, who said that the crisis committee is attentive to the evolution of the new laundry, which at the moment runs close to the one so far located more to the north, and if not it ends up affecting more areas of the La Laguna neighborhood.
At the moment, the lava that runs through this new stream is “quite fluid” and has already crossed the LP-212 road, from Tacande.
“Let’s see if the emission of lava is paralyzed, as has happened with other emission centers in the southern part, or is mounted on the original ones”, added Prieto.
The spokeswoman for the Pevolca scientific committee, María José Blanco, has indicated that the opening of these new foci, some with strombolian and phreatomagmatic activity and others with lava effusion, have caused a landslide on the northeast flank of the cone.
As for the rest of the flows, there are still lava contributions in the central part of them and in the last hours they are invading areas that were previously unaffected north of the Todoque mountain.
The change in wind regimes, favorable for the operation of the La Palma airport, on the other hand, have notably worsened air quality.
So much so that the General Directorate of Health and Emergencies of the Government of the Canary Islands reports the exceeding of the alert threshold for accumulation of SO2 (500 units per cubic meter for three consecutive hours and a peak of 724) in the Los Llanos station between 10 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. this Sunday.
The air quality with these parameters is considered extremely unfavorable both in Los Llanos and in El Paso and Tazacorte, so it is recommended that the population at risk avoid activity in the street and use FFP2 or higher protection masks.
The spokeswoman for the Pevolca scientific committee, María José Blanco, has indicated that the “very high levels” of SO2 in the volcano’s plume are “a specific record” within a downward trend that began at the end of September, when they exceeded 50,000 tons daily.
“Let’s hope it is a tree in the forest,” added Francisco Prieto, who nevertheless admitted that the other signs point to a reactivation of the volcano.
María José Blanco has once again warned of the possibility of earthquakes of intensity V and VI that could cause small landslides in sloping areas.
The number of people evacuated from their homes and staying in hotels is 528, plus another 43 dependents located in social health centers.
The affected area is 1,102 hectares, according to data from the Cabildo de La Palma.