- Title: Chief vulcanologist unsure lava will reach the sea
- Date: 27th September 2021
- Summary: LA PALMA, SPAIN (SEPTEMBER 27, 2021) (REUTERS) CLOUD OF SMOKE BILLOWING OVER CUMBRE VIEJA VOLCANO
- Embargoed: 11th October 2021 16:16
- Keywords: Cumbre Vieja La Palma La Palma volcano Spain lava lava stream volcano gas volcano stream
- Location: LA PALMA, SPAIN
- City: LA PALMA, SPAIN
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,Europe,Earthquakes/Volcanoes/Tsunami
- Reuters ID: LVA003EWHXOP3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The volcano on Spain's La Palma island began ejecting ash and smoke again on Monday (September 27) after a brief lull, while hundreds of people in coastal villages were locked down in anticipation of the lava reaching the sea and releasing toxic gas.
A column of white smoke rose from the Cumbre Vieja volcano after several hours of calm around 11 a.m. local time (1000 GMT), according to Reuters witnesses. Researchers confirmed it began spewing out lava at the same time.
"It's something normal with this type of eruption," said Miguel Angel Morcuende, director of the Pevolca response committee. "The volcano has periods of growth and periods of decay."
Morcuende added they were not sure whether the lava streams were going to reach the sea and when that could happen.
His Pevolca colleague, Maria Jose Blanco, said lower levels of gas and a reduced supply of material within the crater could have caused the drop in activity.
Since Sept. 19, black lava has been slowly flowing down the volcano's western flank toward the sea, destroying more than 500 houses as well as churches and banana plantations, according to the European Union's Copernicus disaster monitoring program.
Spanish property portal Idealista estimated the damage at around 178 million euros ($209 million) on Monday.
On Monday, two tongues of the superheated black lava were rounding a hill to the west of the small town of Todoque, less than a kilometer from the Atlantic, but authorities said they could not be sure when it might reach the sea.
Still, around 300 locals in the coastal areas of San Borondon, Marina Alta and Baja and La Condesa have been confined to their homes as the moment of contact between the lava and the sea will likely trigger explosions and emit clouds of chlorine gas.
The Spanish Oceanographic Institute's (IEO) The RamÃ³n Margalef vessel arrived in La Palma to study the effects on the marine ecosystem of the volcanic eruption that began last Sunday on this island. Scientific staff on board the ship is carrying out a complete geomorphological study of the sea floor to investigate whether there are sources of volcanic emissions under the sea.
(Production: Miguel Gutierrez, Catherine Macdonald)
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