There is still no sign of the volcanic activity easing. / CSIC/IGME

Underground pressure from magma forces ground around La Palma volcano to rise

Spain's National Geographic Institute recorded some 180 tremors on the island in the latest 24-hour period

ANTONIO PANIAGUA

On Tuesday, 26 October, the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, on the island of La Palma, was in full swing again. Although it registered less explosive activity than on Monday, the seismic pressure was high and the scientific committee fears high-intensity earthquakes in the coming days.

Proof of the high underground pressure is that the ground around the volcano has risen ten centimetres, according to data from the network of measuring stations, and scientists attribute this ground deformation to an accumulation of magma.

The new lava flows that were created over the weekend have stopped, including the one that was heading towards El Corazoncillo, near Las Manchas.

Cone collapse

The partial collapse of the cone of the volcano on Monday night was followed by frequent explosions that were heard in Los Llanos de Aridane and Tazacorte areas. However, despite the emission of huge quantities of magma, most of it was channelled through underground lava tubes.

As a result of the destruction of the crater, the structure of the volcano looks like one cone boxed inside another, both arranged in the shape of an amphitheatre. Late on Tuesday afternoon, the internal cone collapsed on itself, causing a temporary blockage that, after giving way, led to the exit of a large amount of lava to the west.

Emergency military personnel on La Palma. / EFE

180 tremors in 24 hours

Spain’s National Geographic Institute (IGN) has recorded some 180 tremors on the island in the last 24 hours. The highest was a magnitude 4.2 earthquake recorded in the municipality of Mazo.

The volcano shows no sign of the eruption stopping in the medium term. On Tuesday the emission of sulphur dioxide remained high and registered 40,800 tonnes. For the volcanic activity to be considered ended, it would have to emit only 500 tonnes per day.

According to the European Copernicus satellite network, the lava has already destroyed 2,162 buildings and covered an area of 906 hectares on the island.