On September 19, after several days of tremors on the Island of La Palma, a gap opened in the Cumbre Vieja mountain, causing lava to exit to the outside and forming a new volcano. Since then, nearby villages have been evacuated and thousands of people have seen their homes engulfed by a blanket of lava.
The Canary Islands, where the new volcano is located, are of volcanic origin. They have arisen from the geological activity of the interior of the planet. They were formed by volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. All the islands exceed at least 1,200 meters at their highest points, with the Teide peak in Tenerife rising to 3,718 meters, the highest point on Spanish soil. Cumbre Vieja has a height of 1,949 meters, but is likely to change in the coming months depending on the activity of the volcano.
Lava from the volcano and its devastating and slow displacement
Lava from the Cumbre Vieja volcano has been falling downhill taking advantage of the mountain’s slope since Sunday’s eruption, devastating everything in its path. Unlike the Teneguía volcano, which was formed in 1971 in an eruption similar to that of Cumbre Vieja and located next to the Ocean, in this case the chimney of the volcano has been located at the top of the mountain.
The displacement of the lava taking advantage of the slope is extremely slow, due to the characteristics of the lava itself. It is a non-explosive eruption in which the chimney expels volcanic lava that by inertia is displaced. The lava mantle flows looking for the sea forming a lava flow. In the case of La Palma, there are several lava flows, specifically, to date three different languages are distinguished.
You can follow the flow of lava from the Copernicus EMS portal. Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS) provides information for emergency response to different natural or man-made disasters and other humanitarian disasters, as well as prevention, preparedness, response and recovery activities.
Copernicus EMS – Mapping Portal serves as a source of information for European national emergency response authorities. Also for subsequent Copernicus service providers and for the GIS (Geographic Information Community) community in general.
Information about the Cumbre Vieja volcano
The updated information of the Cumbre Vieja volcano can be followed at the following address. In addition, you can download a pdf file with more details from here. An image of the area is seen below obtained from the following source where the progress of the lava is seen:
More detailed information can be seen in the following image:
In the previous map as well as in the pdf that can be downloaded it has the following legend:
With a red square you can see destroyed houses. In a yellow square possibly damaged houses. Then the red lines are destroyed roads and in yellow partially destroyed. It must be said that as the lava flow follows the course of the slope and is likely to reach the sea it will cut the roads of the area and therefore divide the island into two parts.
Websites to follow the evolution of the Cumbre Vieja volcano
The following official websites allow you to follow the evolution of the volcano that has just emerged.
- Cabildo Insular de La Palma, recommendations and updates on volcanic risk to the population.
- Cabildo Insular de La Palma, , information on road closures and shelters on Twitter.
- Centro de Emergencias y Seguridad del Gobierno de Canarias, update of the emergency services on Twitter.
- Instituto Geográfico Nacional, , map and information of the incident.
- Red internacional de Peligros Volcánicos Information on volcanic ash.
Note: All information shared in this post is the property of Copernicus EMS and the source below is cited. Copernicus Emergency Management Service (© European Union, 2012-2021). Link: Copernicus Emergency Management Service