By Chris King • 09 October 2021 • 17:28
Scientists in La Palma call for calm over possible lava delta collapse. image: Twitter
Miguel Angel Morcuende, the technical director of the Emergency Plan Volcanic Canary Islands (Pevolca), made an appeal for calm among residents during his press conference today, Saturday, October 9. This was in relation to the latest news that the possibility exists of the La Palma lava delta (fajana) collapsing.
In the press conference, accompanied by Maria Jose Blanco, director of the National Geographic Institute (IGN) in the Canary Islands, the director explained, “The coastal platform of La Palma is small, because it is a very young island, and immediately after it there is a deep slope towards the seabed. The wash sits on an area that has no stability”, in reference to the small platform created by the lava stream from the Cumbre Vieja volcano.
“It can move at any time. Against it, it has the marine movement, which holds the belt. However, the pressure centre of the volcano is pushing towards the sea, and what can happen is that at a given moment the pressure of the weight of lava exceeds the effort made by the sea to retain it”.
At that moment, a rupture would occur, accompanied by small explosions as more water vapour was released. Some gases that are contained in the fajana would probably be released too, along with a wave.
Morcuende emphasised that this wave would have a height of five metres, exclusively at the breaking point, with a radius of 100/150 metres. “It must be made very clear that the intensity of the wave is inversely proportional to the distance. That is, as the distance increases, it decreases very quickly”.
The forecast of the expected phenomenon, should it occur, is that there will be waves of less than two metres in height after a distance of half a mile, and of half a metre at a mile and a half distance.
“I want to call for tranquility again, because if there is a small problem it will be ‘in situ’ in a place of rupture, and it will occur in territory already evacuated since the beginning of the eruption. There will be a picturesque phenomenon in the area and little more”, he concluded, as reported by laprovincia.es.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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