The fissure eruption continues to show a mixed strombolian mechanism with phases of more and less explosive behaviour as well as pulses of phreatomagmatic activity. Currently, there are multiple active strombolian events in the main cone, with a lava emission point on the NE flank of the main cone.

The eruption continues to show some stability and a general decrease in energy, although PEVOLCA reminds that the current eruption parameters do not indicate a possible end to the eruption in the short term. However, there was increased ash emission observed yesterday, which has led to a worsening of air quality and the suspension of classroom teaching in the municipalities closest to the eruption. Furthermore, the poor air quality has caused the cancellation of some flights at La Palma airport.

The latest statistics on the renewed growth of the lava delta over the past few days indicate it has now created 41 hectares of new land away from the previous coastline. The lava delta has continued to grow to the south as flow 9 which was travelling over the 1949 lava delta has now reached the sea and adds material to it. As well as flows 1, 2 and 9 feeding the lava delta, flows 4 and 7, the fronts of which are located to the south of La Laguna Mountain near the northern edge of the flow field, are also being fed by lava tubes.  Regarding earthquakes the frequency and magnitude remained fairly low. 44 events were recorded, with similar amounts at both intermediate (10-15 km) and deeper (30-45 km) depths, with the day’s largest earthquake being a mbLg 4.4 event at 38 km depth.

An increase of ash emission has been observed, which could affect air quality to the north and west of the eruption. A slight reconfiguration of the lava flows means that flow 9, to the south of the lava delta, now has the largest contribution of lava and that flows 1 and 2 feeding the lava delta have a lower contribution of lava compared to previous days. The lava now covers 1,020 hectares, and the flow field is 3,100 m wide at its maximum. According to the land registry, 1,460 buildings have been affected including 1,181 homes, although these values are much lower than those estimated by the Copernicus EMS satellite data.

PEVOLCA today have confirmed the death of a 72-year-old man in the exclusion zone in the El Corazoncillo neighbourhood in the municipality of El Paso. The cause of death as well as the man’s identity is currently unknown, however the cause of death is currently being investigated by the Judicial Authority and the Civil Guard. It is known that the man was in the exclusion zone as part of an authorised ash cleaning team authorised by the city council. With respect to the eruption, the activity continues to show stability, with mixed strombolian activity from multiple vents within the main cone as well as a lava emission vent on the NW flank of the main cone, as well as occasional phreatomagmatic pulses. Regarding earthquakes the frequency and magnitude decreased relative to previous days. 19 events were recorded, with similar amounts at both intermediate (10-15 km) and deeper (35-40 km) depths, with the day’s largest earthquake being a mbLg 5.0 event at 38 km depth.

The two lava flows feeding the lava delta, flows 1 and 2, have now combined both in the sea forming a single large lava delta, and also on land too close to the cliffs. Other than these flows, flow number 9 which is further south of the current lava delta and is on the 1949 lava delta, is also active. Due to the lava-water interactions, turbulent currents have been detected up to 1 km from the lava front. Whilst these currents can be damaging to marine life, the chemical parameters of the ocean are not thought to be significantly affected at this distance from the front of the lava delta.

Today, a cluster of 11 earthquakes at 9-14 km were recorded in the south of La Palma close to the Cumbre Vieja ridge, starting at 3:18 am local time. The largest event so far was a mbLg 1.5 earthquake and 11 km depth. This new seismic swarm is the first that has been detected since earthquake swarms in June and January 2021, which were largely clustered in similar areas but at depths deeper than 20 km. The swarm represents the 9th seismic swarm in southern La Palma since anomalous seismic activity began in the area in October 2017, which is thought to be related to magmatic reactivation of Cumbre Vieja. The shallow depth of these latest earthquakes, as well as the consistent locations with other swarms, are the most significant features, although the timescales nor the potential occurrence of any magmatic reactivation cannot be determined in the short-medium term.

The size of the lava delta is increasing with the arrival of flow number 2 at the coast yesterday, which has increased the total area affected by lava flows by more than 10 hectares, with the total area affected now standing at 998 hectares. The fronts of the other lava flows remain stable however, as they have for the last couple of days. Outside of the affected areas, in order to secure the electricity supply to the surrounding towns, PEVOLCA have announced two sites for new backup electricity generation plants. The number of earthquakes increased again to 118, being recorded mostly at intermediate (10-15 km) depths with some deeper (35-40 km depth) events too, with the day’s largest earthquake being a mbLg 4.8 event at 34 km depth. The proportion of deeper earthquakes increased throughout the day.

The lava flow immediately south of the current lava delta, flow number 2, has advanced and reached the coast at Playa de Los Guirres. The front of the lava flow is cascading down the cliffs onto the beach below, although this lava is yet to make contact with the sea. The rest of the active lava flows however show minimal progress. The eruptive activity continues to be a mixed strombolian mechanism with more explosive strombolian vents within the main cone, a lava emission vent on the NW flank of the main cone, and occasional phreatomagmatic pulses. The number of earthquakes increased again to 99, being recorded mostly at intermediate (10-15 km) depths with some deeper (35-40 km depth) events too, with the day’s largest earthquake being a mbLg 3.8 event at 38 km depth. This is still lower than the earthquake strength and frequency at points in the previous week.

In terms of lava flows, the eruption continues to be stable, with no new ground being affected by the current active flows, which occupy existing tubes and channels in the centre of the flow field. Flow number 11 to the south of the flow field, which was close to overflowing the LP-2 road used for accessing Puerto Naos, has stopped advancing for now. The most active flow currently is flow 1, which is the original flow feeding the lava delta. The affected area hasn’t changed much, at 984 hectares and up to 3,100m wide. According to the land registry, 1,452 buildings have been impacted, including 1,177 for residential use. The number of earthquakes increased to 75, being recorded mostly at intermediate (10-15 km) depths, with the day’s largest earthquake being a mbLg 3.7 event at 14 km depth. Since last week, this still reflects a decrease in earthquake strength and frequency.