La Palma volcano update: Longest eruption on the island in 340 years, first dead, enhanced seismic activity, new lava delta steadily grows

The eruption on La Palma has started 56 days ago and there is no end in sight! The 2021’s eruption becomes the longest on the island since the El Charco eruption in 1712. That’s an amazing 343 years! And it may even beat the records of San Antonio in 1678 (66 days), Tigalate in 1646 (82 days) and Tehuya in 1585 (84 days).

Almost two months after the beginning of its eruption, the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma has claimed its first victim. According to reports from Spanish news wire EFE, a 70-year-old man was killed while working as a volunteer cleaning up volcanic ash when the roof of his own home in the neighbourhood of Corazoncillo collapsed on Friday. Meanwhile, ash removal continues in anticipation of rain!

Many were hoping that the Cumbre Vieja eruption was starting to slow down, but a 5.0 magnitude earthquake on Saturday and several smaller tremors suggest that the volcano remains very active. Today, a M4.7 hit at a depth of 37 kilometers under Villa de Mazo, at the same location than yesterday’s quake.

earthquakes la palma november 14 2021
Earthquakes La Palma eruption on November 14 2021. Picture via IGN

Moreover, new satellite images from Copernicus shows that the new lava delta that formed near the popular surf spot of Los Guirres beach, and fed by two lava flows, has now merged with the old one, forming a giant delta of more than 38.8 hectares (95.9 acres)

The video below clearly shows, the new island is fed by 2 distinctive lava flows.

The plume of the volcano

And the delta created by the lava, from the sea.

The latest data also show that lava has buried 5.5 hectares more land over the past 36 hours and destroyed two more buildings, taking the total to 2,618. These results suggest that the volcanic activity hasn’t slowed down or maybe even picked up over the weekend!

According to an update released by the Spain’s Department of National Security early Sunday, the lava flowing from the erupting Cumbre Vieja volcano now covers a surface area of 1,018.67 hectares.

The Spanish Navy has deployed two seabed seismometers in the surroundings of the Cumbre Vieja volcano in order to better monitor earthquake signals.

Meanwhile, many residents complain about not receiving any financial aid so far… Probably because its distribution has been excessively bureaucratic until now. There will not be a lot of fund left for the islanders! The natural disaster will turn into a societal collapse!

(Source)

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