Volcanic eruption in the Canaries: why the arrival of the lava flow in the ocean worries the authorities

the essential While the Cumbre Vieja erupted for more than a week on the island of La Palma, in the Canaries, it is now the probable arrival of the flow of lava in the ocean which worries the authorities. An alert has been issued.

More than a week after its awakening, the Cumbre Vieja volcano continues to cause considerable damage on the Spanish island of La Palma. Gigantic lava flows progress towards the ocean, leveling everything in their path, as shown by the latest images transmitted by the inhabitants and the authorities on the spot.

This Sunday 26 September, it is in particular the Church of Todoque which was engulfed by the molten magma.

But while the volcanic activity of Cumbre Vieja re-triggered an explosive phase last Friday, it is the advance of the lava flow to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean that focuses the fears of the authorities now. Because new risks must be taken into consideration.

Near the point of contact between lava and water, under the effect of thermal shock, a mixture of gas and water vapor will form, with particularly irritating properties. Another risk: the projection of “magma shards”, by a phenomenon of imprisonment of pockets of water, which could affect the inhabitants for several kilometers around.

What push the authorities to impose confinement for the population of the municipalities of San Borondón, Marina Alta, Marina Baja and La Condesa, during which the inhabitants will have to keep their doors and windows closed.

ud 83 d udd 34 # ErupciónLaPalma Ante la posibilidad de que la lava llegue al mar en las próximas horas en zona costera de Tazacorte y en previsión de posibles emanaciones de gases nocivos para la salud, #PEVOLCA ordena el confinamiento de San Borondón, Marina Alta, Marina Baja y La Condesa

– 1-1-2 Canarias (@ 112 canarias) September 26, 2021

The clouds formed by these gas and vapor emissions could also be loaded with hydrochloric acid, to the point of causing potential acid rain.

However, such a scenario might not see the light of day, depending on the speed of the advance of the lava flows.

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