One of the two lava flows from the Cumbre Vieja volcano, which erupted on Sunday on the Spanish island of La Palma in the Canary archipelago, has stopped advancing, authorities announced Thursday (September 23).
The other flow, whose width reaches 500 meters, “Continues to grow, but much slower than before”, in particular because of the topography, added María José Blanco, director of the National Geographic Institute (IGN), after a meeting of the authorities to take stock of the situation. She clarified that the flows should only reach the ocean “Neither today nor [vendredi] ». The authorities fear the arrival of lava in the water because of the emission of toxic gases that it could cause.
María José Blanco, however, clarified that this slowing of the flows did not mean that the eruption had lost in intensity. The volcano “Remains active, with a column [de cendres et de gaz] reaching an altitude of 4,500 meters ”, she said again.
According to the latest data from Copernicus, the European system of geospatial measurements, lava has so far destroyed 350 buildings and covered 166.2 hectares – or 30 buildings and 12 hectares more than the day before – on the island, whose main economic activity is the cultivation of bananas.
The eruption of Cumbre Vieja, which has so far left no injuries or deaths, has resulted in the evacuation of 6,100 people, including 400 tourists. King Felipe VI visited the island on Thursday, accompanied by Queen Letizia and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, returning from the UN General Assembly in New York. “Help will not be lacking”, promised Felipe VI to the evacuees he met, assuring that the different administrations would do “Everything in their power”.