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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

A new vent emerges in Tacande (La Palma), a new earthquake of 4.1 and more evacuations

Image: Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN) National Geographic Institute

The night had been one of "tense calm", reports indicate, because "you cannot do anything, other than be aware of ensuring that people in danger are out of their homes", and some people had to be helped "who stayed behind because of animals."

A new earthquake occurred in El Paso at three kilometres deep. A new vent emerged last night in the volcano on La Palma, in the vicinity of the town of Tacande, which has forced the evacuation of a further 150 - 200 people. The new vent is located about 900 meters from the main one and to the north. It's the ninth vent for which there is evidence.

The National Geographic Institute (IGN) detected a new earthquake of 3.1 on the mbLg scale in the municipality of El Paso, although the Red Sísmica de Canarias (Canary Islands Seismic Network) indicates that the magnitude was 4.1. 

It is the largest earthquake on the island since this Sunday. The tremor, which occurred at 9:32 p.m., was felt in the municipalities of Los Llanos de Aridane, Breña Baja, Tazacorte, El Paso, Breña Alta, Fuencaliente, Villa de Mazo and Santa Cruz de La Palma.

Satellites have so far detected the destruction of 166 houses and the advance of lava. Although, the movement of the lava in the volcanic eruption of La Palma has slowed down in recent hours, so was not expected to reach the sea during the night, said the director of the Canary Islands Volcanic Risk Prevention Plan (Pevolca), Miguel Angel Morcuende. This does not mean, he has clarified, that the eruption has decreased its activity and it should be verified in the next few hours if this reduction is a trend or not.

According to the Instituto Volcanológico de Canarias (Involcan), the daily monitoring of sulphur dioxide (SO2) will be essential to analyse the evolution of the current process and to be able to certify the end of the eruption. The values obtained during the second day of this eruptive process (8,000-10,500 tons per day) are similar, but even slightly higher than the values recorded for the first day of the eruption (6,000-9,000 tons per day).

Yesterday the area was blocked due to the number of people who came by car to see the eruption, which is yet another problem that emergency services are having to deal with.