La Palma earthquake sparks fears volcano eruption will get WORSE as new lava flow opens up

La Palma volcano spews lava as it continues to erupt

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The latest quake, which follows a day of relatively quiet seismic activity, was recorded at a 12.17 local time in Mazo, at a depth of 35 kilometres. A second tremor, measuring 3.8 was recorded at roughy the same depth, and a third of 3.4 was recorded at Fuencaliente at a depth of 12 kilometres.


In addition, scientists are monitoring a lava flow which broke off from the main flow into the sea, taking a new direction, parallel to the current one, in the area of El Charcon.

The stream is working its way through an area of La Palma island dedicated to the cultivation of banana trees.

The beach is referred to as Playa del Volcán, because it is near one of the areas which was reclaimed from the sea by the San Juan volcano in 1949.

Speaking today, Miguel Angel Morcuende, technical director of the Volcanic Risk Prevention Plan, told Spanish newspaper Elmundo he could not rule out further damage to buildings and crops in the area.

Volcanologists have also warned of a worsening in air quality as a result of what is known as a thermal inversion at altitudes of between 600 and 700 metres combined with the weak wind, which makes it difficult to dilute the clouds of ash and sulphur dioxide.

Cumbre Vieja volcano began erupting on September 19, after a swarm of earthquakes eight days earlier. 

The island’s airport was this morning closed as the result of a buildup of ash and dust on the runway, air traffic operator AENA said.

However, other airports in the Canary Islands’ archipelago off North Africa remain open, and an AENA spokesperson said the ash cloud was unlikely to pose any wider risks to air travel for now.

This is the second time that La Palma’s airport has been shut due to ash buildup since the eruption began.

AENA said in a tweet: “The La Palma Airport is inoperative due to ash accumulation.

“The established protocols are being applied. Safety is the priority.”

(More to follow)

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