October 18, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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Explosion in the Canaries | The lava reaches the sea, which is a dangerous phenomenon

Explosion in the Canaries |  The lava reaches the sea, which is a dangerous phenomenon

(Madrid) The lava from the volcano that erupted ten days ago on the island of La Palma in the Spanish Canary Islands eventually reached the sea overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday, a phenomenon feared by experts because it is dangerous.


The event was announced by the Canary Islands Volcano (Involcon) just after 11pm local time (10pm GMT on Tuesday). “The lava flow reached the sea at Playa Nueva,” Involcan said on its Twitter account.

Images broadcast by regional television from the Canaries, a Spanish archipelago off the northwestern coast of Africa, showed glowing lava entering the water amid a large amount of smoke.

The Cumbre Viza volcano erupted on September 19.

On Tuesday afternoon, the lava, which had varied in speed over the past few days, was still half a mile from the sea, even to rest at a time, making it impossible to predict when she would reach the sea.

The meeting between the lava and rocks melted more than 1000 degrees Celsius, and the seawater was 20-25 degrees Celsius making it extremely dangerous, especially due to the production of toxic gases and harmful particles.

For this reason, the regional government of the archipelago determined a “two nautical miles exclusion radius” around the area where the lava was expected to fall.

Toxic gases

On Monday, residents of several neighborhoods in the village of Tajacorte, near the coast, called to protect themselves from the toxic gas smoke caused by the arrival of lava in the sea.

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The decision was made “there is a possibility of a small shock when magma enters the seawater and this small shock will poison the vapor,” the project technical director stressed. Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency (Povolka), Miguel Angel Morkunde.

Hazardous information on the quantity and condition of the toxic gases produced is not yet available.

Photo by Borja Suarez, rules

The lava offspring entered the sea just hours after the government released 10.5 million euros ($ 15.55 million) directly to the victims of Tuesday’s eruption, especially to buy homes for people who were swallowed up by the lava.

According to the European system of Copernicus geospatial action, lava flows destroyed a total of 656 buildings – all of which were non-residential – and 85,000 residents declared a state of natural disaster on the island, which covers 268 hectares of land.

The lava also destroyed several roads. The president of the Canary Islands, Angel Victor Torres, last week estimated the damage at more than 400 million euros and indicated he was counting on European funds to rebuild.

The blast did not kill or injure people, but forced more than 6,000 people to flee their homes.

Since it erupted, the volcano has been emitting massive fumes reaching several hundred meters in height, but also ash.

These arrivals disrupted air traffic, causing seven domestic flights scheduled for Friday to be canceled, after which the airport will close the next day. Although it has officially reopened, flights are currently suspended.

Experts estimate that the rash may last for several weeks or even a few months.

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The two previous eruptions in La Palma were in 1949 and 1971. They killed a total of three, two by inhaling gas.

Like the other islands in the archipelago, La Palma lives mainly from banana cultivation and tourism.