Eruption of the volcano in the Canaries: the cloud of sulfur dioxide on the way to Toulouse and Occitanie

Erupting since Sunday in the Canaries, the Cumbre Vieja volcano releases a cloud of sulfur dioxide that will pass through the Pink City (©Illustration / PXHere)

The images are uplifting. Since Sunday, September 19, the mount Old Summit à El Paso, south the island of La Palma, in the Canary Islands, a territory of Spain, entered eruption. the sulfur dioxide cloud (SO2) and particles released by this volcano gradually rises to the north and the European continent. And he should make a foray into the skies of the Pink City.

Clouds expected from Thursday or Friday

According to the European Earth Observation Program Copernicus, the sulfur dioxide cloud is expected to reach southwestern France this weekend. Concretely, the cloud should reach the region this Thursday, initially over the Pyrénées-Orientales, before winning Toulouse and the rest of Occitania.

The specialists predict the strongest concentration of this episode on the region for the day of Friday September 24. The phenomenon will gradually fade, before disappearing on Sunday or Monday, as evidenced by a modeling of Mark Parrington, a scientist from the Copernicus research center.

What effects on health?

In high amounts, sulfur dioxide can affect the respiratory system or cause eye irritation, but the road to the Canary Islands is long and the SO2 concentration of the cloud gradually reduced along the way, and the particles gradually rose into the atmosphere. Upon arrival, the cloud would not present no health hazard, according to Mark Parrington.

The episode should however be clearly perceptible to the naked eye: the sulfur dioxide and fine particles from the volcano could be dense enough to be seen, with an effect on the visibility and intensity of soleil. It could also be translated as a cloudy veil, Where more acid rain.

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