The La Palma volcano has experienced this Tuesday for the first time the absence of volcanic tremor (vibrations caused by magma in the volcanic building) since the eruptive process began on September 19. The scientific committee of the Special Plan for Civil Protection and Emergency Assistance for Volcanic Risk of the Canary Islands (Pevolca) has indicated this Tuesday that all the indicators of the eruption both direct on the surface, as those from the surveillance networks have decreased, certifying the ” signs of exhaustion “of the activity in Cumbre Vieja. The process “has been attenuated”, presenting an almost non-existent tremor, no ground deformation and with a low seismicity at intermediate and deep levels.
What’s more, the emission centers have stopped expelling lava and pyroclasts, reducing its activity to the degassing process. The only barometer at the moment that can suggest that the eruption will continue for a long time is the emission of sulfur dioxide (SO2), still at high values, when it should be below 100 tons per day.
“La Palma: Cumbre Vieja has been silent since dawn
▪️ It is the longest activity break
▪️ From Pevolca they ask for patience
— 24 hours RNE (@24horas_rne) December 14, 2021
The volcanologist from the National Geographic Institute, Rubén López, has gone one step further and said that if the information obtained by the TVE journalist, Miguel Ángel Guerra, is confirmed and the SO2 emission has dropped below 100 tons per day: “We could talk about start to see the end from today“.
“All parameters point to the La Palma volcano being depleted
@miguelguerratve talks to Rubén López, volcanologist at the National Geological Institute: “The volcano does not emit lava, it is completely stopped”
– TVE newscasts (@telediario_tve) December 14, 2021
Despite these values, the general director of Security and Emergencies of the Government of the Canary Islands, Gustavo Armas, has appealed to the maximum prudence of the population because the emergency will not end when the volcano stops emitting lava and all Civil Protection measures must be maintained to continue guaranteeing the physical integrity of people.
The technical director of Pevolca, Miguel Ángel Morcuende, explained that according to the scientists the eruptive activity has diminished until “practically disappeared”. Only weaker fumarole activity is visible than in previous days. This situation occurs after the episode on Monday, where there was a major explosive phase with ash ejection accompanied by the fall of bombs, especially towards the north flank.
Even if the flow of lavas continues from the western base of the main cone, from volcanic tube leaks, does it with much less flow than in the last day. In the lava delta of the Las Hoyas area, the wash runs over previous lavas without new contributions to the sea.
He believes that under current conditions “great reactivations cannot be expected.” But still, he says, we must wait for evolution in the next few hours and days. pic.twitter.com/XWTYMjp8ak“
– RNE Canarias (@ArchipielagoRNE) December 14, 2021
Suspension of flights and poor air quality in Los Llanos
The dispersion of the volcanic plume towards the east and southeast has maintained an unfavorable scenario for air operations in La Palma, with the cancellation of several flights, especially in the morning, one situation that will remain at least 24 hours, according to weather forecasts.
In the town of Los Llanos de Aridane, the concentration of particles smaller than 10 microns (PM10) has reached very unfavorable levels, so it is recommended to reduce vigorous and prolonged activities outdoors and use a FFP2 mask. In the rest of the stations they remain between reasonably good or good.