The lava could bury 1,000 houses: If people arrive, who sees it as a show, it can make it difficult for work

The eruption of the Old Summit Volcano, on the Canary Island of La Palma, could end up destroying around 1,000 homes, as lava continues to spread and devastate

The lava could bury 1,000 houses: If people arrive, who sees it as a show, it can make it difficult for work

The eruption of the Old Summit Volcano, on the Canary Island of La Palma, could end up destroying around 1,000 homes, as lava continues to spread and devastate how much I find in its path.

Thus, experts who are evaluating the situation on the ground, although it is true that the evolution of volcanic eruption is unpredictable, both in its duration and regarding the amount of material that will end up expelling, which will devastate what That there is on his way during his relentless descent to the sea.

"Before we had uncertainty about when and where the eruption would occur. With these two uncertainties we have finished. Now the one that is left is how. In an eruptive process we can have different phases, where eruptive dynamic can change in a matter of minutes or hours, "says Stavros Meletlidis, Vulcanologist at the National Geographic Institute (IGN) that has been working on the ground.

"Unfortunately, there is that forecast," said the president of the Cabildo of La Palma, Mariano Hernández Zapata, in reference to the thousand homes that "could bury" lava. In statements to Cope Canarias, he clarified that the figure comes from "estimates that have been given from different entities", though he added that there is "a slight hope" that the magma "freed its advance and does not reach as much as possible".

Yesterday night, while the Lava tongue approached the sea, the housing computation destroyed at its pitch already ascended more than 180, while the number of people who have had to be evacuated exceeded 6,500. The mass of lava, which is deformed and extending as it approaches the coast, already occupied 103 hectares in the west of the island, where the land has been deformed about 25 centimeters as a result of the magmatic pressure that generated the eruption .

In total, 83,458 people live on the island, and there are a total of 42,088 registered homes. Of these, 19,779 are family homes in the five municipalities where the red traffic light was activated last Sunday, in which 39,594 people live. If the worst forecasts were met, the lava could destroy one out of every 20 houses in the area composed of Fuencaliente, Los Plains, El Paso, Tazacorte and Villa del Mazo, the localities that entered average level of alert when the volcano entered eruption .

The advance of lava has also harmed numerous banana crops, a sector that provides 30% of employment in La Palma. In this sense, the Cabildo announced yesterday that it will ask for aid for the European Union after estimating that losses will exceed 400 million euros, and asked the population that does not move with their vehicles along the roads of the island, with the purpose of Avoid unnecessary risks and facilitate the movement of workers who are facing the crisis.

The activity of the volcano seems to have remitted during Tuesday, but that does not mean, necessarily, that it is turning off. It could be rekindled at any time. "These changes in eruptive dynamics exist. The most recent example is Iceland: it seemed that the activity had stopped and, after a week, started again. The magmatic system in depth is very complex; It is not about the eruption of a stratovolcan, where we have a magmatic chamber, here we have many ramifications and it would not be prudent to talk about times, "Razona Meletlidis.

Navigation is banned from Monday in the sea area towards which lava is directed, around which an area of exclusion by land has also been created. Instead, the airport of La Palma continues to operate normally. In fact, people who are working on the ground prevent tourists arrive in the coming days.

«It is an extreme phenomenon that affects lives and properties», underscores meletlidis. "If people arrive from outside who sees it as a show, rather than as an extreme phenomenon, work may a little difficult for all people who are responsible for security," she prevents her. "You have to be aware that, if someone dares to approach, we must understand that then the lives of the people who will save it".

For the moment, the vulcanologist stands out, the response of the palm trees has been unbeatable. "I assure you that the people here, on the island, are the most discipline, because some have lived the eruption of 1949 and, many of them, the eruption of 1971," he says. "On the side of the management, there was an exemplary coordination between all: Emergency Safety, State Forces, Forest Agents ... We have not had victims, not even an injury. And, on the other hand, the inhabitants have been very disciplined, always listening to the recommendations and ignoring. This is very important".

As Detailed Meletlidis yesterday at noon, the volcano had "lowered activity", although it continued to "emit ashes." The volcanic material was still falling to the west, while the head of the lava tongue was increasingly approaching the sea. At nightfall, the volcanic tremor, which indicates movement inside the volcano, had increased again ...

Updated Date: 22 September 2021, 06:05

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