The authorities terminate the eruption of the La Palma volcano

“The eruption is over”. This was confirmed this Saturday, Christmas Day, by the Minister of Public Administrations, Justice and Security of the Government of the Canary Islands, Julio Pérez, after the daily meeting of the scientific committee of the Special Plan for Civil Protection and Attention to Emergencies due to Volcanic Risk of the Canary Islands (Pevolca), in which it has been verified that, indeed, after ten days inactive, the La Palma volcano has not registered new deformations. After 85 days and eight hours, the counselor verbalizes these words of “relief”, as he himself acknowledged at a press conference.

Scientists warn: the end of the eruption on La Palma does not mean that there are not "some dangers"

Scientists warn: the end of the eruption on La Palma does not mean that there are not “some dangers”

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The eruption began on September 19, “almost still in summer”, and lasted until December 13 (date on which the tremor signal stopped and all the parameters of the volcano declined), “almost in winter”, what has made the Canary Islands go through a “volcanic autumn, literally”, as the counselor has said in his speech, in which he stressed that this cessation of “daily dripping of destruction” will give rise to the most important thing now: the reconstruction of the island.

He has spoken of “satisfaction” when referring to the human device that has been behind this volcanic emergency, despite its size, “probably the largest of the Civil Protection catastrophes in Spain in recent times.” Pérez has outlined that, leaving aside the major meteorological catastrophes and military operations (such as the control of the pandemic), the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano is “due to its size, its duration and its destructive impact, the greatest catastrophe that has occurred in the country in recent years “.

The end of the eruption, however, is not the end of the emergency. “The risks and dangers remain,” he clarified. The Security Minister has indicated that the Pevolca plan will continue “the same, at a red light, the emergency at the same level”, qualifying that he does not believe that the emergency will cease to be declared throughout the month of January, since as long as danger persists, it must be kept activated.

From this Saturday, in addition, a “safe, orderly and gradual” relocation plan will begin to be studied so that in the first half of January “some relocations can be agreed (of the 7,000 evacuated people) and try to see how to reestablish some essential services, “Perez pointed out while stressing that the authorities are not going to leave La Palma” overnight “despite the fact that the eruption has officially ended. “You have to foresee the de-escalation.”

On the other hand, he stressed that this crisis in which thousands of people have had to be transferred, “there are no direct victims” of the volcano, although there is a case that is under investigation.

Data balance

Julio Pérez has taken stock of the figures left by the device mounted on the occasion of the La Palma volcano, such as the more than one hundred meetings of the Pevolca since its activation (September 13), six days before the eruption (September 19 ) in what constitutes the longest volcanic episode on La Palma.

As for the volcano data, the lava flow occupies 1,219 hectares and two lava deltas have been generated, one of 43.46 hectares to the south of the eruption and another of 5.05 to the north.

The eruption has engulfed 1,576 buildings, according to the Cadastre count and 2,988, according to the estimates of the European Copernicus satellite system.

Likewise, the lava has destroyed 370 hectares of crops, most of them banana trees but also vineyards and avocados, and a total of 73.8 kilometers of roads have been affected.

More than 500 scientists on the device

The Security Minister also wanted to highlight the role of science in this volcanic crisis, in which 528 accredited scientists have participated, as well as the work of the thousand people of the emergency device.

In the course of the eruption there have been ten evacuations, with 7,000 people affected and six confinements and 500 operations have been canceled at the airport due to the presence of ash.

A volcano seen from the air

The director of the Pevolca technical committee, Miguel Ángel Morcuende, who has been reporting almost daily on the evolution of the volcano, highlighted this Saturday the presence of drones in monitoring. A total of 2,800 flights have been carried out to monitor the eruption.

Source: – by

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