One month after the start of the volcanic eruption in the Cumbre Vieja mountain system, on the Spanish island of La Palma, it maintains an intense activity although in the last few hours the different lava flows have entered a phase of “stability and slowness”, according to Spain’s National Geographic Institute.
However, according to David Calvo, spokesman for the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcan), a lot of lava material reached the second stream during the night, so its advance has accelerated, and it is about 30 metres from the ocean cliff, in Tazacorte.
So far, in just four weeks, more than 800 hectares of the island have been affected and 1,956 buildings have been destroyed, according to data from the European Copernicus satellite programme. In addition, there are more than 7,000 people evacuated from their homes.
Calvo explained that the eruption of the La Palma volcano "is still strong" and that the arrival of the second lava flow into the sea will force new lockdowns in the coastal areas of Tazacorte since "small explosions" and hydrochloric acid discharges could occur.
Since 19 September, when the Cumbre Vieja volcano erupted, it has become the most damaging of the historical eruptions that have happened on the island of La Palma. It has more than doubled the area covered with lava the record held - until a month ago – by the eruption of El Charco in 1712, which affected 441 hectares, according to the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcan), citing Carmen Romero, a professor at the University of Laguna.
According to the latest measurement by the European Copernicus satellite system, carried out Monday, the flows from the new volcano already cover an area of 811.8 hectares.