Lots of earthquakes, and it’s getting stronger: The Canary Islands government has declared the volcano warning level in yellow. It is about a mountain with which – wrongly – horrific devastation is associated.
On the Canary Island palm Authorities are preparing for a possible eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano. Seismic activity in the past few days has shown “a significant change in volcano activity,” the Canary Islands Volcanic Institute reports. Residents are invited to carefully follow the news of civil protection.
Provincial government of Canary Islands He activated the Special Plan for Disaster Control and Emergency Preparedness for Volcanic Hazards (Pevolka), which provides for increased monitoring. The warning lights are set to yellow for four locations: Fuencaliente, Los Llanos de Aridan, El Paso and Mazo. There is currently no increased risk to the population. The capital, Santa Cruz de la Palma, has not yet been affected. The yellow warning level is the second of four warning levels. In the case of orange, it is advisable not to approach the volcano; In the case of red, a volcanic eruption is recommended.
El Paso and Cumbre Vieja: The place is one of four communities in La Palma for which a yellow warning level has been issued. Earthquake activity indicates a possible new eruption of the volcano after 50 years. (Source: imageBROKER / Harry Laub)
The last outbreak was in 1971
On Tuesday after the new warning level was announced, there was the most powerful volcanic earthquake in the past few days: it was recorded this morning with a magnitude of 3.9.
After the last eruption of the volcano in 1971, which killed two people, calm reigned for a long time. Since 2017, there are again swarms of earthquakes in La Palma – now ten. The latest streak since the weekend with over 400 small earthquakes is much stronger than previous swarms. Earthquakes also occur at shallow depths, which indicates rising magma. Previous outbreaks in La Palma were accompanied by stronger tremors.
Cumbre Vieja is a 14-kilometer-long volcanic chain in the south of the island, reaching an elevation of nearly 2,000 meters above sea level and providing hikers in the namesake national park with a view of the neighboring islands. TenerifeLa Gomera und El Hierro bietet.
The mega tsunami theory made headlines
For years, reports have been making a fuss around the world that the potential for a devastating tsunami threatens from Cumbre Vega with waves hundreds of meters in height reaching New York at a height of 20 meters. It made headlines as the “most menacing volcano on Earth” (“Wiener Zeitung”).
Background: When a kilometer-long rift occurs, a side of the mountain can sink into the Atlantic Ocean. This thesis is from a publication of the Benfield Greig Hazard Research Center in London and the University of California at the turn of the millennium. The researchers themselves declared that such a catastrophe is possible, but also that it may take thousands of years until then.
There is now a broad consensus in science that this scenario is highly unlikely – the mountain must be much higher for him. In addition, the effects of landslides can be weaker than those of marine earthquakes with large-scale sea floor uplifts and subsidences. “Nothing with the huge tsunami in La Palma,” summarized science journalist Lars Fischer.
However, the local authorities are taking the volcano very seriously: there are also contingency plans for large-scale evacuations in the stairs.