February 20, 2024

Cumbre Vieja volcano spews lava fountains that reach the size of buildings; Watch videos

The flow of molten rock remains intense and shows no signs of cooling after part of the ridge collapsed

Miguel Calero / EFEThree weeks after the start of the lava spill it shows no sign of cooling.

Three weeks after the eruption of the volcano old summit, located in Canary Islands, province Spain No Atlantic OceanNo sign of decreased activity. On Sunday, lava ejected from the mountain was as large as three-story buildings and several low-magnitude earthquakes struck the site – the largest of which was 3.8 points on the Richter scale. Six thousand people were evacuated and no one was killed or injured by the lava spill, but about 1,100 buildings and at least 30 km of roads were destroyed, with homes, farms, swimming pools and industrial buildings depreciated in the predominantly agricultural area.

The eruption began last September 19 and gained momentum with the collapse of part of the volcanic cone on Sunday, September 3, increasing the flow of lava. Government experts have estimated that the largest lava flows measure 1.5 km at their widest point, while the new land deltas that form as lava flows into the Atlantic Ocean have reached a surface of 34 hectares. The meeting of the lava with the ocean also raises concerns about the emission of toxic gases, which has led Spanish authorities to outline changes to local navigation. The scientific committee advising the government said that if the delta continued to grow toward the sea, parts of it could break. This will cause explosions, gas emissions and large waves, although it does not pose any danger to anyone outside the exclusion zone established by the authorities.

“We cannot say that we expect the volcanic eruption that started 21 days ago to end soon,” said Julio Perez, Canary Islands’ regional minister of security. However, the local government is trying to encourage the resumption of tourism, which is one of the foundations of the local economy along with the cultivation of plantains from the Canary Islands. “This volcanic eruption affected part of the island, but La Palma is still a safe place and can offer a lot to those who visit,” said Mariano Hernandez, the island’s chief official.