La Palma volcano eruption 2021: Sep 22-23, first impressions

La Palma's active Cumbre Vieja volcano erupted again on 19 Sep 2021, after 50 years of slumber. Tom Pfeiffer and a small group of friends from the Volcanological Society were lucky enough to be able to reach the island on the 4th day of eruption via a Condor flight from Munich.
During 22-23 Sep, the eruption was characterized by near-continuour, rapidly pulsating and moderately tall lava fountains from the main vent, along with large lava bubble explosions and associated shock waves. Lava effusion continued to occur mostly directly into the main lava tube and lava flow, which continued to mostly spread laterally and thicken in the area of Todoque, rather expanding it than pushing its front much forward towards the ocean. This would change in the course of the week...
Sep 22, 2021: Approaching La Palma island from the east, we can see the 2426-m-high peak of Taburiente in the north of the island and left of it, the ash plume from the eruption as a dark diffuse cloud over the southern part of the island. Fortunately, the airport can operate today. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Sep 22, 2021: Approaching La Palma island from the east, we can see the 2426-m-high peak of Taburien... [info]
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After crossing the Cumbre Nueva massif through the tunnel, we soon descend towards El Paso. On our way, we can see the lava fountains and ash plume from the eruption, now just over 3 days old, in full swing. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
After crossing the Cumbre Nueva massif through the tunnel, we soon descend towards El Paso. On our w... [info]
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The site of the new eruption are the forested northwestern slopes of the island's active Cumbre Vieja shield volcano at around 900 m elevation near El Paraiso, which already has been partly destroyed by lava flows. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The site of the new eruption are the forested northwestern slopes of the island's active Cumbre Viej... [info]
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Sep 23, 2021: In the evening, the activity at the main cone consists of rapidly pulsating tall lava fountains (4-500 m high at least) from a main vent in the summit crater of the main cone; pulses of the fountain are at 1-2 per second rhythm, accompanied by very loud jet-engine-like degassing sounds. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Sep 23, 2021: In the evening, the activity at the main cone consists of rapidly pulsating tall lava ... [info]
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The lava fountains are nearly vertical, and a rain of incandescent bombs falls back around it. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The lava fountains are nearly vertical, and a rain of incandescent bombs falls back around it. (Phot... [info]
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As it gets darker, the fountain becomes so bright to illuminate the area with red light. Some bombs reach several hundred meters distance from the crater. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
As it gets darker, the fountain becomes so bright to illuminate the area with red light. Some bombs ... [info]
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Later in the evening, the fountains becomes less steady, as the flow of magma seems to become interrupted by the rise of very large gas bubbles, that explode with loud detonations generating shock waves and throwing lava bombs in circular directions from the crater. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Later in the evening, the fountains becomes less steady, as the flow of magma seems to become interr... [info]
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Seconds after the explosion of a lava bubble, the bombs flying away from the explosion are forming a roughly spherical pattern. Some of these reach close to or even more than 1 km distance. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Seconds after the explosion of a lava bubble, the bombs flying away from the explosion are forming a... [info]
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Most of the time, the lava fountain reaches around 400 m height; the near-absence of wind lets a dark ash column rise from the fountain. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Most of the time, the lava fountain reaches around 400 m height; the near-absence of wind lets a dar... [info]
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As the fountain pulsates, the ash plume and falling curtains of lapilli become visible when the fountain is temporarily a bit smaller. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
As the fountain pulsates, the ash plume and falling curtains of lapilli become visible when the foun... [info]
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During much of the time, the fountain is strong, with violent pulses, often merging to a constant jet of gas shooting up into the sky along with liquid lava. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
During much of the time, the fountain is strong, with violent pulses, often merging to a constant je... [info]
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The fountain often takes a slightly oblique direction towards the southwest. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The fountain often takes a slightly oblique direction towards the southwest. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Long exposure shot of a lava bubble explosion shows the side-ways directed trajectories of large glowing lava bombs. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Long exposure shot of a lava bubble explosion shows the side-ways directed trajectories of large glo... [info]
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At the end of an explosion, the fountain takes a very short "breath", while bombs continue to fall in considerable distances. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
At the end of an explosion, the fountain takes a very short "breath", while bombs continue to fall i... [info]
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Later at night, the fountains gain strength and rise higher, with some of the ejected glowing lava surpassing 1000 m in height. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Later at night, the fountains gain strength and rise higher, with some of the ejected glowing lava s... [info]
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Vertical lava fountain (1) (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Vertical lava fountain (1) (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Vertical fountain (2) (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Vertical fountain (2) (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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A billowing ash plume growing to 2-3 km height above the eruption seen in the light of the rising moon. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A billowing ash plume growing to 2-3 km height above the eruption seen in the light of the rising mo... [info]
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View from the main road LP-3. One of the main hazards during the eruption are probably distracted drivers. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View from the main road LP-3. One of the main hazards during the eruption are probably distracted dr... [info]
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A parking at the main road near the junction of LP-3 with LP-2 provides an excellent viewpoint. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A parking at the main road near the junction of LP-3 with LP-2 provides an excellent viewpoint. (Pho... [info]
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The viewpoint is quickly crowded with press, locals and tourists curious to see the exceptional event. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The viewpoint is quickly crowded with press, locals and tourists curious to see the exceptional even... [info]
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The eruption provides an unusual backdrop for a romantic selfie. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The eruption provides an unusual backdrop for a romantic selfie. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The best overview can be had from the mirador El Time, overlooking the Ariadne valley. The moon provides additional light to see the various towns, the erupting cone and the active lava flow, still far from the sea. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The best overview can be had from the mirador El Time, overlooking the Ariadne valley. The moon prov... [info]
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The eruption illuminating the broken clouds over the valley with red light from below. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The eruption illuminating the broken clouds over the valley with red light from below. (Photo: Tom P... [info]
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Video of Lava fountains on 23 Sep 2021 evening:


La Palma eruption 2021 picture galleries:

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