La Palma shakes with a 4.5-degree earthquake, the largest since the eruption began

The island of La Palma trembled last night with the highest intensity earthquake since the eruption began. An earthquake of 4.5 degrees registered at 2:27 am at a depth of 37 kilometers in Villa de Mazo, preceded just a few seconds before by another of 4.1. In total there have been 60 tremors since midnight.

The third strongest took place in Fuencaliente, with a magnitude of 3.6, after 5:30 in the morning, at a depth of 10 kilometers.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma continues to roar 26 days after the start of its eruption, with a seismicity that has been increasing in the last hours.

Meanwhile, the special plan for Volcanic Emergencies of the Canary Islands (PEVOLCA) has ordered tonight the evacuation of a new neighborhood of the municipality of Los Llanos de Aridane that has affected a fortnight of residents before the advance of the last lava flow generated by the volcano eruption.

This is the second evacuation that has caused in just 24 hours the advance of the new wash that has formed in recent days north of the main one, after this Tuesday afternoon about 800 residents were ordered to leave their homes from the neighborhood of La Laguna.

The measure has been taken “due to the anticipated advance of the lava flow that runs further northwest and its proximity to the boundary zone of the already evacuated perimeter.”

According to the indicators that scientists monitor at the La Palma volcano, especially sulfur dioxide emissions, everything suggests that the end of the eruption will not occur in the short or medium term.

The volcano is releasing a plume of gases 3,000 meters high with high amounts of sulfur dioxide, 17,774 tons per day, and that measure would have to go down to 100 to think that the eruption is coming to an end, according to the spokeswoman for the Scientific Committee of the Volcanic Emergency Plan of the Canary Islands (Pevolca), María José Blanco.

The area affected by lava already exceeds 640.27 hectares and the total width of the three lava tongues reaches 1,770 meters.

The lava from the volcano has already destroyed about 90 hectares of banana trees in the coastal area of ​​the Aridane Valley, “the most expensive in the Canary Islands and Spain” for the cultivation of this fruit and whose market value ranges between 35 and 40 millions of euros.

According to the information from the Copernicus satellites, there are 1,541 buildings or constructions affected, of which 1,408 were destroyed. The data obtained from the cadastre reduce the figure to 937, of which 763 for residential use, 89 for agricultural use, 45 industrial, 22 for leisure and hospitality and 18 for public use.

The Department of Homeland Security reports that the air quality is good and an east wind is expected, which will allow the ash to move west, towards the sea.

At the moment all the Canarian airports are fully operational.

In addition to the desalination plants installed to supply irrigation water, a tanker chartered by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge is scheduled to arrive in the area today.

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