Erupting Spanish Volcano Blows Open New Fissure
20:24 GMT 01.10.2021 (Updated: 17:15 GMT 12.04.2023)
Another fissure blew open on the volcano-hit Spanish island of La Palma, Friday, as authorities recorded eight new earthquakes, adding more fears of destruction since the September 19 eruption.
The Cumbre Vieja volcanic fissure caused large lava channels sending streaks of fiery red and orange molten rock down toward the sea — while authorities wait and observe the new fissure’s path as it finds its way to the main flow that has already reached the Atlantic Ocean.
Fissure eruptions occur where plate movements cause large fractures in the earth’s crust, springing up around the base of a volcano with a central vent, leading to an eruption of magma flows through cracks in the ground that also leak out onto the surface.
The fissure — which reportedly opened 1,300 feet from the main eruption site — is prompting alarming concerns on Spain's La Palma island after authorities reported eight new earthquakes with magnitudes of 3.5 or higher. To prevent any casualties, a rapid evacuation of more than 6,000 people was executed, Reuters reported on Friday.
"There is concern about the path of this new flow towards the sea, although it is expected to join up with the previous one within the next few hours," said Mariano Hernandez Zapata, head of La Palma's council.
© REUTERS / idafe.comLava flows down the hill after a volcanic eruption in La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain, September 19, 2021, in this still image from video obtained via social media.
Lava flows down the hill after a volcanic eruption in La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain, September 19, 2021, in this still image from video obtained via social media.
© REUTERS / idafe.com
The lava has destroyed thousands of buildings, including homes and farming infrastructure.
Officials are monitoring air quality along the shoreline where the molten rock meets the ocean.
“Sulfur dioxide levels in the area rose, but did not represent a health threat,” La Palma’s government said.