The yellow alert was announced by the authorities of La Palma, one of the Canary Islands, announced a yellow alert. The increase in seismic activity of Teneguia volcano in the Cumbre Vieja zone may herald its eruption in the coming days or weeks. Teneguia broke out for the last time in 1971, and for over three weeks lava was coming out of it.
Almost 21,000 tremors have been recorded on the island of La Palma, which belongs to the Canary Islands archipelago since September 10, Spanish radio Cope reported on Friday, citing experts from the Volcanological Institute (Involcan). Island authorities issued a yellow alert over the volcano eruption – the second on a four-point, rising scale – but urged people to remain calm.
Canary Islands. Seismic swarms
Cumbre Vieja is a volcanic ridge with many craters. According to the latest information from Involcan, over a thousand seismic quakes in the area occurred only on Thursday. One of the quakes, with a magnitude of 3.9 and a hypocenter at a depth of nine kilometers, was felt by the people on the island. Several others with magnitude above 3 have also been registered. Scientists admit that the strength of the tremors is small so far, but they do not exclude its increase.
For a week there have been so-called seismic swarms – numerous small tremors recorded just a few kilometers from the Teneguia volcano. The pressure of subsurface magma in the vicinity of Cumbre Vieja caused this part of the island to rise by 10 cm. Experts have pointed out that the epicenters are getting closer and closer to the surface – initially they were 20 kilometers deep, now they are 6-8 kilometers, and some even less than three.
Seismic activity could increase and be felt by the population, and a volcanic eruption could occur in the days or weeks to come, experts warned.
La Palma. Monitoring of seismic activity
The Government Delegation in the Canary Islands has asked the National Emergency Monitoring and Coordination Center (Cenem) to launch the EU’s Copernicus program in connection with the seismic activity in La Palma. This program is launched at the request of the Autonomous Regions and offers free operational services for observing the Earth from space.
The increase in the volcano’s seismic activity has been noted since 2017. Teneguia last erupted in 1971, for over three weeks lava was coming out of the volcano’s interior
In 2011, an underwater volcanic eruption took place near the coast of the island of El Hierro adjacent to La Palma, after many weeks of intense seismic activity.
Main photo source: Reuters