La Palma eruption update 19th december 2021: Background levels maintained

La Palma eruption update 19th december 2021: Background levels maintained

Daily summary

Volcanic tremor continues at background levels, with no eruptive activity seen, although a reactivation cannot be ruled out. PEVOLCA is keen to stress there is still danger from the temperatures and instability of the lava flows, as well as their associated gases, and that residents entering the evacuated areas should not approach any flows, even if they seem inactive. Small remnants of incandescent lava flows breaking out from lava tubes have still been observed in the south, which led to gas levels that prevented access for neighbours and irrigators to the evacuated areas from the south.

The SO2 emissions from the plume remain stable, again registering a low (50-99 tonnes per day) value. PEVOLCA continues to explain these emissions are due to the solidification of superficial magma in the conduits, rather than magma ascent. Air quality with respect to SO2 and PM10 concentrations remain stable, and largely good. SO2 concentrations were good in all stations throughout the day, and PM10 levels in all stations were between good and reasonably good. From Tuesday, an Atlantic front is predicted which may bring strong rains which could impact the operation of the airport.

Deformation remains stable across the network, showing no trend. 36 earthquakes were recorded, peaking at M3.2. The majority of earthquakes were at intermediate depths (<20 km), with also some deep (>30 km) earthquakes seen. As has been the case since the tremor decreased to background levels, the number of events is inflated due to a number of small earthquakes (<M2.0) being detected and located, that would not be possible without the background tremor values seen currently. This represented 18 out of the 36 events recorded.

(Above) A drone video showing the morphology of the main cone on the 19th in its inactive state. Inset is a thermal video showing how hot many areas of the lava flows and cone still are despite being inactive. Video credit: IGN Spain

Sources: Government of the Canary Islands, PEVOLCA, Involcan, IGN, DSN, Cabildo La Palma, 112 Canarias, Tolouse VAAC, Copernicus EMS

Lava flows


Exclusion zone map

Exclusion zones shown here have been approximated from press releases from the Cabildo de La Palma and will not be exact, nor claim to be official maps of the exclusion zones. For official information, please contact the Cabildo de La Palma.

Official social media

To see our full social media archive, visit our open data section or click here.

News articles

  • US News – Charity santa run in Madrid for La Palma – here
  • El País – The invisible enemy of La Palma behind the lava and ash – here
  • El País – The open wound of La Palma – here

To see our full news archive, visit our open data section or click here.

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Eruption footage

News and Interviews

Witness Testimonies

Interactive Lava Flow Map

Notes: Use the button in the top right to open the map into full screen mode. Use the legend icon in the top left to see the legend and further information about the map. Click on individual days to see an outline of the lava flows on that day.

Interactive Earthquake Map

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Notes: The size of the points represents the size of the earthquake, and the colour represents the depth. The map will also only show a certain number of points at once. For ease of use, we recommend you uncheck all dates and the satellite basemap from the legend in the top right, and inspect the earthquakes one day at a time.

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