Spain’s La Palma Island Volcano Eruption Enters Eighth Week
The eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma entered its eighth week Monday, powerful as ever and showing no signs of stopping.
From its official Twitter account, INVOLCAN, the Canary Islands Volcanology Center, reported lava and huge plumes of smoke and ash have been spouting from the crater all day.
Citing a report from Italy’s volcano department, INVOLCAN said the minimum height of the volcano’s plume Monday was 1,600 meters.
The eruption has alternately surged and ebbed since September 19 and scientists say the eruption could last for up to three months.
But experts have said that predicting the end of the eruption is difficult because the lava, ash and gases coming to the surface reflect complex geological activity happening deep inside the Earth, far from the reach of currently available technology.
An area of more than 8,200 hectares between the Cumbre Vieja volcano and the Atlantic Ocean has been declared off limits.
Lava from the volcano has destroyed several hundred homes and industrial buildings, and scorched hectares of farmland in the largely agricultural area. Officials evacuated more than 7,000 residents and tourists to prevent loss of life.
The previous eruption on La Palma happened 50 years ago and lasted about three weeks. The island of roughly 85,000 residents is part of Spain’s Canary Islands off the northwestern coast of Africa.
Some information for this report was provided by The Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse.