Given the increase in seismic activity registered on the island of La Palma, the Ministry of Public Administrations, Justice and Security, the Government of the Canary Islands today convened the Scientific Committee of the Special Plan for Civil Protection and Attention to Emergencies due to Volcanic Risk (PEVOLCA) to assess the situation, agreeing to activate this Plan in a situation of Alert for Fuencaliente, Los Llanos de Aridane, El Paso and Mazo and the change of the traffic light from green to yellow for said municipalities.
PEVOLCA establishes a volcanic traffic light as an alert system to the population based on four colors depending on the risk. In yellow, information to the population, surveillance measures and monitoring of volcanic and seismic activity are intensified. At the current level, the activity does not imply an increased risk for the population.
The Scientific Committee reported that since 2017 an anomalous seismic activity has been recorded in the south of the island of La Palma, which since the summer of 2020 has increased with the occurrence of 8 seismic swarms. The last one, which began last Saturday the 11th, has been the most intense, both due to the number of earthquakes located (more than 400 until this morning), and because of its magnitude, the largest being felt by the population. In addition, the Committee indicated that the depth of the earthquakes, which until now had oscillated between 20-30 km, has decreased to
os 12 km during this swarm. Regarding the geochemical monitoring of volcanic gases, he highlighted that the Helium-3 emission data recorded confirm the magmatic character of this process, registering the highest value observed in the last 30 years.
Due to all of the above, the Committee recommended to the Plan Directorate the change of the volcanic traffic light from green to yellow in the Cumbre Vieja area, and it cannot be ruled out that the seismic activity felt in the coming days will intensify, depending on the evolution.
From this moment on, the monitoring of the phenomenon is increased and any significant change will be communicated. The population must remain attentive to the information provided by the Civil Protection authorities.
Representatives of the National Geographic Institute (IGN), the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) have participated in the Scientific Committee, coordinated by the General Directorate of Security and Emergencies of the Government of the Canary Islands; Canary Islands Volcanological Institute (Involcan), State Meteorology Agency (AEMET), Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) and the University of La Laguna, as well as the Security Council of the Cabildo de La Palma Delegation, Subdelegation and Insular Directorate of the Government of Spain on the Island.