May 22, 2022 7:13 am

Lahar threat on La Palma: Mudflows could be hundreds of meters

The Gran Canarian palms



La Palma looks at the sky with terror. The island is facing a new pre-alert for rain, like several Canary Islands, with a series of risks added by mud flows as a consequence of the volcanic eruption and the tons of ash that accumulate in its streets.

“Given the existing accumulation of ash and pyroclasts mudflows can be created with a huge mechanical force (lahars) in the areas affected by the volcanic eruption« alerts 112, »the rains can remobilize these materials deposited in the affected areas and these mudflows happen through the natural slope of the land«.

These lahars, warns the General Directorate of Security and Emergencies, can be «from a few meters to hundreds of meters wide« which can »travel very fast or slowly« depending on the amount of water contained in the mixture.

For the population of these areas it is recommended do not walk through ravines or natural or artificial channels, take shelter in a high place in case you are surprised by the rain or these mudflows, do not travel at these critical times or through affected areas near the volcano and use the communication routes established by the authorities.

This fear that has been stalking La Palma for months comes along with the alert of a storm to the archipelago, and on the 65th anniversary of the tragic torrential rains that hit the island of La Palma.

Liborio and his wife, on the verge of being dragged

The Puntallana City Council recalls the “desolate balance sheet” of this natural catastrophe 65 years ago, “with 22 human losses in the region of Las Breñas and considerable material damage to infrastructure and agriculture«.

«They count the biggest ones who had never seen or seen again a rain with such virulence and one night in broad daylight, like on that gloomy day“, lamented the Consistory, in what was »a meteorological phenomenon not to be forgotten and that is also part of the history of the municipality«.

The House of de Liborio, threatened by the rains with him and his wife inside – Puntallana Town Hall

The main road to the north was washed away by water as it passed through El Pósito in La Galga, where “the popular House of Liborio, with him and his wife inside“, narrates the City Council.

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