La Palma eruption update 3rd october 2021: The lava flow field is up to 1 km wide

La Palma eruption update 3rd october 2021: The lava flow field is up to 1 km wide

Daily summary

The explosivity of the eruption has increased, with activity being more concentrated in the strombolian vents in the main cone than the vents on the flanks of the main cone. The fumarolic field on the NW flank remains active, and elsewhere, activity from the two effusive vents away from the main cone feeding the newest lava flow has decreased. Recently, the main cone has undergone reconfiguration as a result of eruptive processes; the current cone is wider, lower and closed than the one seen in previous days. A partial collapse of the cone at around 7:00 pm local time produced an overspill of very fluid lava from the cone, which also included some very large blocks created by the collapse. The latest damage assessments indicate 400 hectares have been affected by lava, which is up to 1 km wide. According to Copernicus EMS, 1,074 buildings have been affected, with 946 of them destroyed, along with 30.7 km of roads. The lava delta now covers an area of 29.7 hectares.

Air quality increased relative to previous days, with low SO2 values everywhere aside from short peaks in El Paso and Los Llanos, and PM10 particle concentrations remained lower, although the daily threshold was again exceeded in Los Llanos. Volcanic tremor remains more intense, but it has not reached the peaks registered between the 24th and 27th of September. Regarding deformation, the distal stations still show a slight downward trend, and the closer stations show some pulses that could be related to the eruptive activity. Earthquake activity continues to be concentrated near where the precursory seismic swarm began on the 11th September, predominantly at 10-15 km depth, but with some at >20 km depth. 35 earthquakes were recorded, peaking at 3.7 mbLg. The ash and gas plume height is 3000 m, and the SO2 emissions were up slightly from the 2nd, at 3,401 tons per day.

An erupting volcano, showing a tall grey ash plume extending into the blue sky.

The eruption on the 3rd October, showing a strong ash and gas plume extending up to ~3 km according to PEVOLCA estimates. Image credit: INVOLCAN

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

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

  • Guardian – Volcanic eruptions are like cats – here
  • Independent – La Palma volcano turns ‘much more aggressive’ – here
  • Inews – Spain gives £176 million to 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

click here to enlarge

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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