Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Volcano in the Canaries

 You may have seen reports of the eruption of a volcano on La Palma. 

No human loss has been reported, but around 6,000 people have been evacuated and 320 homes destroyed by towering lava flows rising up to 12 meters high. Scientists are also warning about the potential danger of toxic gas clouds if and when the molten rock reaches the sea.

The Canary Islands, a volcanic archipelago located off the north-western coast of Africa, have a history of eruptions. The longest one on record in La Palma took place in 1585 and lasted 84 days; the shortest one dates to 1971 and extended for 25 days. There was also an underwater eruption off the island of El Hierro in 2011.

It is likely that sulphur dioxide gas will be carried by the wind onto mainland Spain but the levels will be low and are not expected to be dangerous to health. 

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