By Tamsin Brown • 13 December 2021 • 12:57
The eruption of the La Palma volcano Cumbre Vieja is the longest in 500 years.
The Cumbre Vieja volcano has now broken records on the island of La Palma, with the longest eruption recorded in the last 500 years. According to experts, it will not be the last the island will experience in the short term.
La Palma is one of Spain’s youngest islands and the most active, with up to eight eruptions over the course of its history. The previous eruption, of Teneguía, lasted for 24 days. Cumbre Vieja has now made history by overtaking the Tihuya volcano, which was active between May 19 and August 10 of 1585.
The volcano of Cumbre Vieja has therefore overtaken Teneguía, San Juan, El Charco, San Antonio, San Martín and Tihuya. In total, the Canary Islands have recorded 21 eruptions, which go back to the writings of Christopher Columbus from his visit to the islands on the way to America in 1492.
Alex Hansen, a specialist in the recent volcanism of the Canary Islands, has studied these phenomena and indicates that not only is it one of the longest eruptions in the history of the islands, but eruptions are occurring in shorter periods of time.
La Palma has suffered eight volcanic eruptions in the historic period, which is “a large number per unit of time”. Cumbre Vieja is “the most active area in volcanology on the islands”. This “very young volcanic structure” has grown rapidly and there is likely to be more volcanic activity in the not too distant future.
Experts say that it is difficult to predict when the eruption will come to an end because although energy levels appear to be descending, it could be days, months, or even longer.
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Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news.
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