La Palma eruption update 21st December 2021: Four more days without activity needed to declare the eruption over

La Palma eruption – 21st December 2021

Daily summary

Volcanic tremor continues at background levels, with no eruptive activity seen, although a reactivation cannot be ruled out. Gas levels were high in the southern coastal area of the evacuated zones, and access from the south was allowed in Puerto Naos and El Remo but not La Bombilla, which extra guidance that people should not go inside buildings in these areas due to the possibility of higher gas levels. Access from the north was allowed as usual. To say the eruptive process is over, PEVOLCA stated the situation must stay the same for the next four days to bring the eruption to 10 days without activity. However, they this would not lead to a change in the short-term emergency situation or restrictions.

The deformation recorded at the LP03 station in Jedey, the closest GPS station to the eruption remains partially reversed, and no other trends are seen across the deformation network. PEVOLCA again reminds that in the El Hierro eruption, residual seismicity and deformation also occurred as the subsurface re-adjusted. 16 earthquakes were recorded, peaking at M3.0 with 6 <M2.0, largely at intermediate (<20 km) depths.

The SO2 emissions from the plume increased slightly, registering a low (50-500 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 remains most in all stations in relation to SO2 except San Antonio where some regular levels were recorded, and good to reasonably good in all stations in relation to PM10 particles.

(Above) A GIF showing the evolution of the lava flows since the start of the eruption caught on the Sentinel 2 satellite. Video credit: Copernicus EU

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

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News articles

  • Animal reader – Police find lost La Palma cats – here
  • CNN Spain – The La Palma volcano captured the world’s attention in 2021: the lava left destruction and chaos – here
  • El Heraldo – The UME of Aragon returns from the eruption of the volcano in La Palma – here

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Eruption footage

News and Interviews

Witness Testimonies

Interactive Lava Flow Map

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Interactive Earthquake Map

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