31st May 2023
Image of the volcano still erupting captured by Involcan on 25 September 2021. (Twitter / @involucan)
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Volcano eruption hits La Palma record of 85 days

The volcano in the Cumbre Vieja national park on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands has now been erupting for nearly three months – the longest running eruption on the island since records began in 1500, according to the authorities – and it shows no sign of ending.

The eruption has surged and ebbed since it first began spewing lava on 19 September, completing 85 days on Sunday, the longest on record. Since it started, it has destroyed almost 3,000 local buildings and forced several thousand people to abandon their homes.

On Sunday, after several days of low-level activity, the Cumbre Vieja volcano suddenly sprang to life again, producing loud explosions and blowing a vast cloud of ash high into the sky.

Scientists say volcanic eruptions are unpredictable. Spanish experts had initially said the La Palma eruption could last up to three months.

Mariano Hernández, the island’s senior government official, described the volcano as ‘stable’ in recent days.

‘The fact is that all the key indicators have been low,’ he told Spanish public broadcaster RTVE. ‘But the scientists won’t say exactly when it might come to an end.’

He said experts continue to measure the number and magnitude of earthquakes in the area and local sulfur dioxide levels.

From Saturday to Sunday, authorities recorded 24 earthquakes, but none was felt by local people.

Despite the damage, no injuries or deaths have been directly linked to the eruption. Much of the area covered by rivers of lava, which are dumping molten rock into the sea, is farmland.

Life has continued largely as normal on most of La Palma, where a section of the southwestern side is hardest hit.

Image of the volcano still erupting captured by Involcan on 25 September 2021. (Twitter / @involucan)
Image of the volcano erupting captured by Involcan on 25 September 2021. (Twitter / @involcan)

ALSO READ: La Palma: strongest earthquake since volcano erupted, plus new lava flows

ALSO READ: La Palma volcano lava reaches ocean, as fears of toxic gas force lockdown

ALSO READ: La Palma classified as a disaster zone, as volcano continues to erupt

ALSO READ: Volcano continues to erupt, forcing more evacuations and cancelled flights

ALSO READ: Canary Islands volcano eruption could last ‘several weeks or a few months’

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