According to PEVOLCA, the more ‘favourable’ scenario regarding the paths of lava flows remains, as they are now largely directed west of the volcano and across previous flows. This is causing a widening and thickening of the flows, but only a small amount of already isolated land is being ‘filled in’ in this new configuration. In terms of eruptive activity, the fissure eruption continues to show a mixed strombolian mechanism, with more explosive phases producing pyroclastic deposits and more effusive phases that produce lava and currently dominate. New road controls have been announced for the coming days as a result of concerns about the increasing number of tourists visiting the eruption, and the disturbances that could bring for local people and emergency personnel. Regarding seismicity, earthquakes continue at a high magnitude in the same area and depths as previous days, although at a variable frequency. 192 events were recorded, peaking at 4.8 mbLg.

According to PEVOLCA, the latest reconfigurations and partial collapses have produced a more ‘favourable’ scenario regarding the paths of lava flows, as they are now largely directed west of the volcano and across previous flows. This is causing a widening and thickening of the flows, but only a small amount of already isolated land is being ‘filled in’ in this new configuration. Regarding seismicity, earthquakes continue at a high magnitude in the same area and depths as previous days, although with less frequency than previous days. 108 events were recorded, peaking at 4.9 mbLg.

The reconfiguration of the cone continues, with large amounts of lava being emitted, on the new stream to the south of the lava flow field, on top of the original lava flow, and on the stream that runs to the north of Todoque mountain. Some of the areas that were isolated but not covered by lava initially are now being ‘filled in’ by the renewed progress of these flows. The flows towards La Laguna are largely unchanged, and the stream closest to the coast remains about 110 m from the cliffs. There was a partial collapse of the upper part of the cone at 8pm local time, which dragged large blocks down the lava flows away from the cone. In Fuencaliente, the LP-2 road had to be closed due to small landslides in the area, most likely due to the increased earthquake activity, particularly at intermediate depths (10-15 km). 247 events were recorded, peaking at 3.7 mbLg. PEVOLCA have not ruled out further small landslides in steep areas, and if the current trend in earthquakes continues, there is a greater probability of earthquakes reaching intensity values of 6.

The new lava flow that emerged on the afternoon of the 23rd continues to flow slowly parallel to the southern limits of the old flows and has been named stream 10 to aid its tracking. Elsewhere, the active flows are largely being fed by lava tubes and channels, although not much advance is seen on the surface at the lava fronts. Throughout the eruption, there have been a total of 9 different vents, although only four of them are currently active; three strombolian vents in the main cone, and a more effusive lava emission vent located on the NW flank of the main cone and forms a conelet. In the afternoon, multiple new lava emission centres opened both at the SE end of the eruptive fissure, and on the west flank of the main cone. Earthquake activity significantly increased, although almost all events remained recorded at intermediate (10-15 km) depth. 271 events were recorded, the most recorded in a single day since the eruption began, peaking at 4.0 mbLg.

Currently, a period of the redistribution of active lava flows seems to be taking place around the volcano, with the flows affecting La Laguna appearing to have almost stopped and receiving a smaller contribution of lava than previous days. As such, the area affected by lava flows has only increased by 3.4 hectares relative to the previous days, with 849 hectares now estimated to be covered. However, the progress of this flow is still being heavily monitored, especially its potential path in relation to if it would pass to the north or the south of La Laguna Mountain. Multiple small partial collapses in the main lava emission vent (which has formed a conelet of welded pyroclasts on the main cone) are thought to be the reason for this redistribution, as well as the development of lava tubes. In the afternoon, a new lava flow to the south of the main cone upstream of Corazoncillo was observed, although its progress is slow, in part because it entrains a lot of the ash and pyroclasts deposited in this area as it moves, which increases its viscosity.

The front of the active lava flows in La Laguna to the north of the flow field are currently practically stopped, although there still remains a high flux of lava feeding these flows, which is leading to their widening and thickening. Nonetheless, the evacuation ordered on the 20th October remains in place. The latest damage assessment puts 845 hectares of land affected by the lava flows, and according to the land registry, 1,280 buildings have been damaged or destroyed including 1,030 residential buildings. However, data from Copernicus EMS estimates a much larger number of buildings affected. 258 hectares of agricultural land has been affected so far, including 144 hectares of banana plantations.

The two active streams to the north have grown and coalesced and appear to be travelling to the SW of La Laguna Mountain. However, it cannot yet be ruled out that their growth and the changing topography may mean the flow travels northwards in the future, which is the fear that prompted the preventative evacuation on the afternoon of the 20th October. The flow to the north closest to the sea remains at 80 m from the cliff, and there have been minimal contributions to this flow in the last 24 hours. Regarding eruptive activity, there are currently five active vents, four strombolian vents in the main cone, and one vent showing only lava emission. The area affected is now 825 hectares, with the lava flow field now 2,900 m across at its widest point.

The two active lava flows to the north of the flow field continue to be heavily monitored as they both continue to advance. The further south of the two, which travels to the south of La Laguna Mountain, is only 80 m from the coast, although it moves forwards only incrementally. The furthest north flow has begun to affect the urban centre of La Laguna, including the petrol station at La Laguna crossing, causing a large fire. Due to the possible future path of this flow, preventative evacuations were ordered in the afternoon for people in Las Martelas, Marina Alta, Marina Baja, Condesa and Cuesta Zapata, totally around 150 people bringing the total number of evacuees to 6,600, not including 400 evicted tourists that were transferred to Tenerife at the start of the eruption. This flow is currently being fed by a relatively large flux of lava, and the new Strombolian vent that opened on the afternoon of the 19th October remains active. Elsewhere, findings of underwater studies have been published today, and include that up to 11 ha of underwater ravines have been filled by the lava flows, and a decrease in fluorescence (a proxy for certain marine organisms) of 48% in the first 150 m depth of the water column has been seen.

The self-protection recommendation announced yesterday for the population of El Paso, in the face of continuing unfavourable air quality with respect to PM10 concentrations, has been maintained. Residents should stay indoors as much as possible, particularly between 2pm-9pm local time, and wear an FFP2 mask if they must go outside. The active lava flows continue to advance slowly; the flow south of La Laguna Mountain is around 100 m from the coast, moving at 3-5 m per hour, and the northernmost flow is currently heading for the centre of La Laguna, although its path is less certain. Between the main cone and the ash vent that opened on the 16th October, a new vent opened in the afternoon, initially showing phreatomagmatic activity before transitioning into Stromolian activity. More findings from the chemical analysis of the lava have been published, showing the evolution from more differentiated to more primitive magma occurred contemporaneously with the hiatus of surface activity on the 27th September.

The eruption continues as in the previous days, with a Strombolian mechanism with a predominant effusive phase and a weaker explosive phase. More explosive activity continues to be concentrated in multiple vents within the main cone, and the effusive outlet is seen as a stepped lava channel that runs down the northern flank. The ash emission vent on the SE flank which reactivated on the 16th October continues intermittently. The active lava flow to the south of La Laguna Mountain, closest to the coast, has slowed to 2 m per hour and is currently 160 m from the coast. Elsewhere, advance of the flow front located just above La Laguna has largely stalled for the moment, although the flows continue to widen and thicken. Between 2pm-9pm local time, it was advised in El Paso that the population stay indoors due to unfavourable PM10 concentrations. This was due to the influence of the Saharan air mass, the ash from the volcano, and also the persistence of a low thermal inversion, which is expected to persist until the 22nd October. However, ash dispersion was more favourable than previous days with respect to the operation of La Palma airport.