Volcanic mountains

A massive volcanic eruption turns the trail running paradise in Spain upside down »Explorersweb

A massive volcanic eruption devastated central La Palma, the westernmost of the Spanish Canary Islands.

The first explosion took place today at 3:30 p.m. local time. Since then, lava and pyroclastic flows have turned the central part of the island into hell.

Lava at 1,075 ° C has flowed down the western flank of the island, burning fields, forests and houses on its way to the sea. So far between 5,000 and 10,000 people have been evacuated. .

The alarm sounded for the first time last week, when a swarm of earthquakes (thousands of micro-seismic events) registered in the central part of the island. A dormant volcano known as Cumbre Vieja (Old Summit) sits just below.

Yesterday, stronger surface earthquakes prompted authorities to start evacuations. This afternoon, a large explosion made the inhabitants jump. The first crater opened in an uninhabited area known as Las Manchas. Eight other new craters quickly formed.

The violence of the multiple Strombolian eruptions far exceeded expectations. During the night, huge jets of fire lit the island. A loud roar, which some have compared to a jet about to take off, is continuous.

La Isla Bonita

This Hawaiian-style island is home to several volcanoes, most of them dormant. The highest point of the island culminates at 2,426 m. Its thick forests, the purest air in the world and its very steep paths have made La Palma the Mecca of hikers and trail runners. La Palma’s most famous ultramarathon, which covers more than 73 km and 4,400 m of vertical drop, is called Transvulcania. No wonder it was known as La Isla Bonita long before Madonna wrote a song of the same title.

Like all the Canary Islands, La Palma is an active volcanic area. Mount Teide in Tenerife is the highest point in Spain, at 3,715 m. The most recent volcanic episode in the Canaries took place at sea, near the small island of El Hierro, in 2011.

La Palma’s last eruption occurred 50 years ago, when the Teneguia volcano became active at the southern tip of the island. By the time the material solidified, the volcano had grown by two million square meters.

It is not known how long this current rash will last. It may take days, weeks, or months. The 1971 Teneguia eruption took place from October to December. “At the moment it’s completely unpredictable,” experts told Spanish media.

About the Author

Angela Benavides

Senior journalist, published author and communications consultant. Specialized in high altitude mountaineering, with an interest in everything that surrounds the mountain: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional lines, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. I have felt at home ever since!


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