La Palma volcano update: Eruption shows no signs of weakening

Tue, 12 Oct 2021, 15:16
15:16 PM | BY: T
Lava fountain and lava flow today at La Palma (12 Oct, image: kimedia live webcam)
Lava fountain and lava flow today at La Palma (12 Oct, image: kimedia live webcam)
Current seismic signal TBT station (image: IGN)
Current seismic signal TBT station (image: IGN)
The activity has been stable during the past 24 hours. At the cone, pulsating lava fountains continued from the more or less merged vents inside its crater generating an ash plume rising to approx. 3,500 m altitude and drifting towards southerly directions. Thanks to the trade wind regime avoiding ash drifting over to the east coast, the airport of La Palma airport is operational again today, but 11 flights were cancelled and others delayed, according to local news.
Volcanic tremor remains high. It has increased a bit compared to previous days, suggesting continued high effusion rates of magma. No significant ground deformation was detected, meaning that magma arriving into the system is balanced by the magma being erupted as lava. In other words, the eruption seems in a stable phase at the moment.
While most lava is going directly into lava tubes feeding various parts of the flow field further downslope, a surface flow remains active from the cone's opening to the west, sneaking its way along the northern margins of the flow field. Most growth of the lava field was from active flow fronts along the northern margins, threatening so far untouched areas north of Todoque and near La Laguna.
Additional 700-800 people from this area were ordered to evacuate their houses, local press reported:
"We have been obliged to evacuate a new area. The lava is advancing slowly. People should have time to take their documents, their personal items and anything of value," said Miguel Angel Morcuende, technical director of Pevolca, according to an article in TRTWorld.

The numbers of quakes remains elevated, but has decreased to about 50% of what it had been a few days ago. During the past 24 hours, there were 2 quakes of magnitude 4.0 or above, 19 quakes between 3.0 and 4.0, and 49 quakes between 2.0 and 3.0. The locations of the quakes remain the same at 10-15 km depth beneath the central part of Cumbre Vieja volcano, with no clear trend of quakes becoming shallower or migrating side-wise.
Their exact meaning is unknown, but the most accepted interpretation is that they reflect magma intruding into that area, which in this case acts as refilling the magma storage system. This might help explain why the eruption has been continuing at remarkably steady effusion rates for three and a half week now.

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