Volcano on La Palma spews gigantic amounts of ash

News of the La Palma eruption: Two magnitude 5.0 earthquakes within 24 hours and record ash! La Palma has so much ash that houses are buried under it, and the lava is already more than 30 meters deep!

According to experts from the Volcanic Emergency Plan for the Canary Islands (Pevolca), the volcano has begun to release much more ash in recent hours.

“We are currently facing a record amount of ash. The amount of ash that has fallen on the western part of the island is the largest since the eruption began.”

The content of particles smaller than 10 micrometers is excessive: 499 µg/m3 compared to 50 µg/m3 (the threshold value). This episode could be caused by intense degassing.

This ash cloud mostly affects the entire western and northwestern part of the island; but especially Los Llanos de Aridane and El Paso, the cities outside the exclusion zone where the volcano is best seen.

Pevolca’s technical director recommends the use of FPP2 masks and goggles in the two aforementioned municipalities, as well as in the towns of Tazacorte, Puntagorda and Tijarafe.

Increased ash emission could affect air traffic. On the other hand, sulfur dioxide emissions decreased this Saturday for the sixth consecutive day.

Its concentration in the air has never exceeded the daily norm. The eruptive column and dispersing cloud ejected by the volcano reached a height of 4,500 meters, higher than in the past few days.

As the volcano ejects more ash, it is also spewing more lava. So far, 10 active lava flows have buried more than 963 hectares under them.

“Increased lava release has been seen on the western flank of the main cone.

The lava has also become more fluid and is flowing over the already cooled magma, increasing its surface area. The drone footage below, taken by the National Geographic Institute on Saturday, shows rivers of liquid lava flowing out of the main crater of Cumbre Vieja and down the slope of the volcano.

“There are areas where the lava is already more than 30 meters deep!”

Of the 10 lava streams flowing out of the volcano, only one, located in the Las Hoyas area, is slowly moving south. The rest of the lava flows are now virtually motionless.

As expected, the morphology of the cone is changing repeatedly as a result of successive processes of growth, collapse and reconfiguration. The formation of new vents around the main cone in the exclusion zone cannot be ruled out.

The Spanish meteorological agency AEMET reported 16 volcanic rays on La Palma in less than an hour late Saturday night. The rays are produced by rubbing of rock fragments, ash and ice particles, which create a static charge similar to lightning during an electrical storm.

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