Volcanic eruption on La Palma: island does not come to rest

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  • Teresa Toth

    Teresa Toth


Even three weeks after the eruption, the volcano Cumbre Vieja continues to rage on La Palma. After part of the volcano collapsed, large amounts of lava leak out.

Update from Sunday, October 10, 2021, 10.15 p.m .: The eruption of the volcano Cumbre Vieja keeps the Canary Island of La Palma in suspense. As CNN reports with reference to the Spanish Institute of Geology (ING), blocks of molten lava as high as three-story houses are rolling down a hill on the island. After the partial collapse of a cone of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on Saturday (October 9th), these blocks of material were released.

On Sunday (October 10th) there were also 21 seismic movements, the largest earthquake that day was 3.8. Since the first volcanic eruption on September 19, 2021, the meanwhile eight lava flows have destroyed 1186 buildings on La Palma, 493 hectares of land have been swallowed up by the lava so far. More than 6000 out of a total of 83,000 inhabitants on the Canary Island of La Palma have so far been brought to safety from the volcano.

Volcanic eruption on La Palma damages tourism, infrastructure and banana cultivation

The volcanic eruption on La Palma not only harms the infrastructure and tourism on the Canary Island. Banana cultivation is also badly affected. Around half of all islanders live on it, either directly or indirectly. Added to this is the restricted air traffic – according to authorities’ assessments, air traffic could be impaired again on Monday due to the ash cloud, and the airport on Tenerife could also be affected.

The volcano Cumbre Vieja on La Palma does not come to rest – on the contrary.

© Europa Press / dpa

First report from Sunday, October 10, 2021, 12.50 p.m .: La Palma – The Canary Island of La Palma is still suffering from the severe consequences of the volcanic eruption. In mid-September, the Cumbre Vieja volcano erupted for the first time in 50 years. Since then, the Spanish island has been repeatedly shaken by earthquakes and entire regions have been destroyed by newly emerging lava flows – an end is not yet in sight.

Volcanic eruption on La Palma: ash clouds are several kilometers high

After large amounts of lava had already emerged from the volcano, the northern flank of the volcanic cone in the Cumbre Vieja collapsed, so that a new lava flow formed. The affected region had already been evacuated. The island recorded its strongest earthquake since the eruption on October 7 with a magnitude of 4.1, according to the Spanish National Geological Institute. This created a side stream of lava that destroyed numerous areas.

The Palm Canarian island
Land Spain
location Northwest coast of Africa
capital city Santa Cruz de la Palma
area Area: 708.3 km²
population 84.793 (2019)

In addition, the volcano incessantly spits out ash and smoke. The ash clouds sometimes reach a height of up to three and a half kilometers. As a result, air traffic had to be suspended on October 7th until further notice – due to the layer of ash on the taxiways, the airport was “not operational”, the airport operator Aena explained on Twitter. A bitter decision for the tourism industry, which has already suffered major losses since the volcanic eruption due to numerous cancellations.

Volcanic eruption on La Palma: Already several hundred million euros in damage

But the island’s infrastructure and agriculture have also suffered enormously since the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja. The damage caused is currently estimated at around 400 million euros. Around 1150 were destroyed by the lava making its way to the sea. 6,000 people had to leave their homes – but no one has been harmed since the outbreak.

So far, the situation does not seem to calm down after the volcanic eruption on La Palma.

© Kike Rincón / dpa

Pictures of a cat trapped in an empty pool of water caused great excitement online. There is lava around the pool. An animal welfare organization intervened and called for help that the cat be supplied with food via a drone until it can be evacuated from the pool. (tt / tab)

Headline list image: © Europa Press