The affected area has now grown to 399 hectares, some 52.5 more than the previous day. / EUROPA PRESS

Lava flow increases from the La Palma volcano as experts detect an increase in explosive activity

Scientists and emergency services working in the Cumbre Vieja area have been evacuated because of air quality concerns

A. S.

There is no sign, for now, that the lava spewing from the La Palma volcano in Spain’s Canary Islands will decrease anytime soon. On the contrary, volcanologists working in the Cumbre Vieja area have detected an increase in explosive activity in recent hours, and they have not ruled out the appearance of new ‘mouths’, according to a report by the Pevolca volcanic emergency plan experts.

In addition, the group, that is in charge of managing the volcano crisis, has ordered the evacuation of the scientists and emergency service personnel working in the areas near the lava flow after the deterioration of air quality in the locality. However, Pevolca’s technical director, Miguel Ángel Morcuende, explained that the evacuation order was limited to the within the 2.5 kilometre radius security area from the main cone, and that outside that area the air quality is good.

More earthquakes

Meanwhile, from Saturday night to Sunday, the 24-hour monitoring network of Spain’s National Geographic Institute (IGN) detected another nine earthquakes in the vicinity of the volcano's eruption zone.

And, since 9pm on Sunday, the flow of lava has increased reported an official spokesman for the Government of the Canary Islands. According to information provided by "one of the volcano's cones has given way and some of the mouths have joined."

Water supply

As of Sunday, the affected area has grown to 399 hectares, some 52.5 more than the previous day. The maximum width of the lave flow is 950 metres and 30.7 kilometres of roads have been destroyed on the island. There are also drinking and irrigation water supply problems in the municipalities of El Paso and Los Llanos, although the island authorities are trying to re-establish the network.

The lava platform that is being formed as the molten magna hits the sea now extends more than 475 metres from the coastline and already covers an area of almost 30 hectares. It rises 30 metres above the ocean on a base that sits some 25 metres below sea level.