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Volcanic area hit by earthquake in La Palma

Volcanic area hit by earthquake in La Palma

The strongest earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale was recorded on Sunday just before midnight, RTVE reported on Monday, citing the Canary Island authorities. This was the strongest so far since the volcanic eruption.

A curfew was imposed on Monday for the first time in several days due to the risks of toxic fumes. These places of interest have a total population of nearly 3000 inhabitants.

The tremors were also felt by many of La Palma’s 85,000 residents. Since it occurred at a depth of 39 kilometers, there is no need to worry. By Monday afternoon, there were at least 40 aftershocks.

The arrival of lava to the industrial area

Cities affected by the new curfew are not far from the Callejon de la Gata industrial zone. The lava has reached cement plants and other factories there, and the gases are likely to be toxic, said Miguel Angel Morquinde, a spokesman for the emergency committee in Pevolca. He stressed that this was only a “precautionary measure”. One now wants to check the air quality in the affected area.

Geologist Neves Sanchez told El Pais newspaper that recent stronger tremors may indicate new magma is accumulating under the volcano in the Cumbre Vieja mountain range in southern La Palma. “It may be that the volcano is developing stronger activity again,” said the 52-year-old, who is part of the scientific monitoring team. The volcano will certainly remain active for a longer time. “It will not end tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, not even in a week,” she said.

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Volcanic eruption on the Canary Island of La Palma

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Photo gallery: Volcanic eruption on the Canary Island of La Palma

Photo: LUISMI ORTIZ (AFP)

On the Spanish Atlantic island off the west coast of Africa, a new lava flow, formed on Saturday by the collapse of the northern flank of the volcanic cone, is now expected to reach the sea within a few days. Authorities announced that since the volcano became active again on September 19 for the first time in 50 years, lava, above 1,000 degrees Celsius, has destroyed nearly 1,300 buildings.

A meter-thick layer of lava was covered by 525 hectares on Monday. This area corresponds to more than 700 football fields. Approximately 6,000 residents of the evacuated villages are still staying in hotels or with their relatives.