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Frequently asked questions about the eruption at La Palma

Updated: Nov 30, 2022 21:52 GMT -
Since we are getting many questions on various topics, we will post some answers to the the most frequently asked here.

Is there still a threat of a tsunami hitting the east coast of the U.S. ?

The current eruption is (geologically speaking) a small and normal event and there's no indication that it could be leading to a major landslide event of the island of La Palma.
In addition, even a very large landslide from La Palma is not thought to be able to trigger what has been circulating in the press as "mega-tsunami". The study that had become notorious claiming this might be a realistic hazard has been shown to be scientifically inaccurate and overestimating greatly such risk.
In short: There is no tsunami risk for the U.S. east coast from the La Palma volcanic eruption.

Why is the location for the volcano on our map different from the current eruption?

The current eruption near El Paso is occurring as a flank eruption on the northwestern slope of the La Cumbre volcano. Like many previous eruptions, the magma chose to create a pathway out from the volcano on the side, not the summit area.
The marker (red triangle) used on our maps shows more or less the summit of the volcano.


Is it possible for normal tourists to see the eruption like on your photos?

Yes, there are numerous viewpoints in the area of El Paso, mostly along the main road LP-3, from where one has excellent view of the erupting cone and the lava flows.

Do you need a special permit to get close enough?

No, there are no special permits except for scientific and other government-endorsed staff. Even for press, there is no special exception to get closet than the public.

Is volcano tourism at this stage hindering evacuation work/emergency response?

There is comparably little "volcano tourism" to speak of at the moment. We don't feel that the (given the extraordinary nature of the event) relatively few spectators are in the way of civil protection and other emergency helpers. Currently, the situation seems stable and no new evacuations should be needed.
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