January 24, 2022 2:19 pm

The lava begins to gain ground to the sea and the wind retains the toxic cloud

The volcano lava of La Palma has begun to gain ground from the sea to form a delta of about 500 meters wide and, for the moment, the wind keeps away from the coast the column of water vapor and possibly toxic gases generated by the contact between the magma and the ocean.

Just in case, and until there are definitive results from a follow-up study of the gases issued, the lockdown of the population of the nuclei of San Borondón, Marina Alta, Marina Baja and The Countessas well as the two-mile boating exclusion zone.

Scientists monitoring the activity of the volcano do not see evidence that the dynamics of the eruptive process are stable.

The eruption is not “stabilized” and there is a dynamic “that is beyond our control,” he admitted. Ruben Fernandez, technical director of Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Singer).

And it is that the eruptive process is still active, with a predominance of effusive activity, that is, of emission of flowing lava, and along the fronts of the wash that has reached the sea there may be “significant advances”, as the director of the National Geographic Institute in the Canary Islands, Maria Jose Blanco.

He has also explained that the volcano can continue to show episodes of increase and decrease in activity, as happened this Monday, when it was practically stopped before evolving into a phase hawaiian that predominates over the strombolian.

The volcano has evolved in recent days to a Hawaiian phase that predominates over the Strombolian

The ash column and gases that the volcano is emitting have reached the 3,500 meters of altitude in the last hours and the daily emission of sulfur dioxide up to 10,757 tons.

Regarding the localized depth seismicity in the area of Fuencaliente, experts point out that right now the magma has an escape valve, and therefore “has no need to seek a new path of ascent to the earth’s surface.”

Pevolca has made an approximate calculation of the area affected by the eruption, which is 476 hectares.

Regarding construction damage, there are 656 destroyed and others 88 damaged partially, 744 affected in total, according to the satellites of Copernicus.

The air quality is still good, although in a mobile station of the Government of the Canary Islands in The Plains of Aridane On Tuesday, more than 50 micrograms of particles were measured per cubic meter, which does not imply an excess of the limits established in the regulations, but advises to maintain monitoring.

The wind regime makes the impact of ash and gases less on air operations and, in fact, airlines Binter and CanaryFly have resumed their operations at La Palma airport this Wednesday, although some fine ashes could reach the island of The iron in the next few hours.

The effects of lava in the sea

The long-awaited and feared arrival of the lava to the sea has caused, for the time being, the creation of a delta about half a kilometer wide, while the ocean around it has changed color by the effects of volcanic material.

Eugenio Fraile, of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO), has indicated to Efe from the ship Ramón Margalef, which is located a kilometer away from the wash, that the lava falls quietly into the sea.

The arrival of the lava to the sea has caused the creation of a delta approximately half a kilometer wide, while the ocean around it has changed color due to the effects of the volcanic material.

Only at the moment of contact between the volcanic material and the sea small clouds of gases are formed, which are carried by the wind, but which are quickly diluted.

Fraile explained that there has also been a discoloration of the ocean and areas in turquoise and other brown are united, especially in the area near the lava.

He recalled that this phenomenon could already be observed ten years ago in the undersea volcanic eruption of the island of El Hierro, in which the sea was stained in various colors until the magma came out.

The scientist has detailed that a small collapse has also occurred in the area of ​​the cliffs where the lava has fallen.

Future enrichment of the seabed

Jose Carlos Hernandez, Professor of Marine Biology at the University of La Laguna, points out that the lava is falling in an area where marine life is “quite poor” and that in the long run it will generate biological wealth.
It is a question of some sandy bottoms in the area of ​​the beach of The Guirres, in the municipality of Tazacorte, where the diversity of organisms is low.

Once the lava cools in the seawater, a new rocky reef will be generated, which will eventually generate biological wealth.

Beyond the social drama that the eruption has caused on the island, where more than 6,000 people have been evacuated from their homes, Hernández points out that, from a scientific point of view and once the lava cools in the seawater, it will generate a new rocky reef.

In it intertidal zones can be created, which are of very shallow waters and in which there can be many resources such as limpets, bourgeois and octopus, and further into the water a new soil that will replace the sandy one that existed until now.

This will create wealth, but it will take time for the lava to cool and colonize with organisms.

Institutional support

Meanwhile, from the institutional sphere, the President of the Government, Pedro Sanchez, has announced that it will return to the island of La Palma, although it has not specified a date, and has assured that the three administrations will begin to work to approve a royal decree law “with much more aid” for the palm trees as soon as possible.

After the Executive declared La Palma catastrophic zone and approved an aid of 10.5 million euros, Sánchez has assured in the corridors of Congress, after intervening in the control session, that they are working with the Canarian Government and the Palma council to continue in that line of collaboration and that on Tuesday they had the first meeting of this mixed commission.

The Executive has declared La Palma a catastrophic area and has approved aid of 10.5 million euros for the area

Sánchez has once again conveyed “solidarity and the certainty that the Government is with the palm trees”.

The director responsible for Territorial planning of the Government of the Canary Islands, Jose Antonio Valbuena, has stated this Wednesday that there will be no limits in documents, regulations or laws for “a human solution” for urban and social reconstruction on La Palma, only the limit imposed by nature and what is technically and constructively impossible.

“Now the volcano continues to speak, when it ends we will speak and our objective is that the trucks loaded with belongings return loaded with belongings,” Valbuena said in the plenary session of Parliament and stressed that neither the land nor environmental laws were conceived for a volcanic eruption.


Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *