The first day with the La Palma volcano off: technicians and scientists take their first breath | Society


For the first time in more than three months, this Sunday the daily meeting of technicians and scientists to monitor the La Palma volcano, which erupted between September 19 and December 13, has not been held. This Saturday, Christmas Day, the eruption was officially terminated, the day the emissions and the tremor ceased, once the reasonable period of ten days with the volcano in calm that the scientists had given themselves had elapsed.

The members of the Special Plan for Civil Protection and Emergency Attention for Volcanic Risk of the Canary Islands (Pevolca) have given the first day of rest in their meetings since the first meeting was convened on September 13 due to the increase in frequency and intensity of the earthquakes in Cumbre Vieja, a seismic swarm that anticipated the eruption that arrived on the 19th. The next meeting of the Pevolca will be this Monday, although the red light continues, the emergency situation due to volcanic eruption.

“Today is the first day since September 12 that we do not have a scientific meeting with the volcanic surveillance personnel of the IGN. It’s a strange feeling. From today we have it every two days “, the volcanologist Rubén López has published on his Twitter account. The daily meeting of Pevolca has always been followed by appearances before the media of technical and scientific spokesmen, so that regular journalists share that strange feeling described by Rubén López.

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Scientists continue to work on monitoring the volcano while the lavas cool and the degassing of the affected area continues. They also keep their social media accounts active to continue sharing photos and impressions of this eruption, which has lasted 85 days and 8 hours (from September 19 at 2:11 p.m. UTC to December 13, 2021 at 10:00 p.m. : 21 hours) and whose flows occupy an area of ​​1,219 hectares, with the addition of two lava deltas that add up to 48 hectares reclaimed from the sea.

This Monday, the relocation plan begins to be studied

With the volcano turned off and with 7,000 people still evacuated, this Monday the rehousing plan in the evacuated areas will begin to be studied. The relocation will be “safe, orderly, gradual and gradual,” as announced by the counselor of the Government of the Canary Islands Julio Pérez, director of Pevolca.

However, there are at least 1,576 buildings destroyed, according to the Cadastre count, which amount to 2,988 according to the estimates of the European satellite system Copernicus.

Pevolca announces that the volcanic eruption on La Palma is over. / Europa Press (Getty Images)

The Alert Continues on Scientists

Scientists remain vigilant since certain observable parameters of the volcanic eruption, such as ground deformation or seismicity, can remain present for several months once this process has been concluded.

The latest measurements indicate that the volcanic cone, which has six craters, is 1,121 meters above sea level and rises almost 200 meters above the previous height of the terrain on which it sits. The largest crater is 172 meters in diameter and the smallest 106 meters, and the volume of the volcanic edifice is estimated to be 34 million cubic meters.

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Two hundred million cubic meters reaches the material that has expelled the volcano, the longest and most destructive on La Palma in its historical period. The lava flows coming out of the volcano, which have devastated entire neighborhoods like Todoque, have an average thickness of twelve meters, although at some points they reach seventy meters in height.

The seismic activity does not stop on La Palma

The 24-hour monitoring volcanic surveillance network of the National Geographic Institute (IGN) has located nine earthquakes on the island of La Palma during the night from Saturday to Sunday, none of them felt by the population, despite the completion of the eruption volcanic.

The seismicity continues under the central area of ​​Cumbre Vieja, in the same areas of previous days. Most of the earthquakes are located at depths of less than 10 km, two at intermediate depths, between 10 and 15 km, and only one at depths greater than 20 km.

The maximum recorded magnitude was 2.2 (mbLg) corresponding to two earthquakes located at 05.19 and 07.05 hours, with depths of 37 and 12 km. Nine earthquakes were located yesterday, two of them with magnitudes greater than 2.0 (mbLg). Neither was felt.




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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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