The Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma, in the Canary archipelago, was under close surveillance on Thursday.
A reinforced vigilance alert (level 2/4) was declared after a multiplication of small earthquakes under the volcano which "may have a rapid evolution in the short term", warned the regional government of the archipelago in its last press release on Wednesday. .
This level of alert does not involve evacuations for the moment on this island, located off the coast of northwest Africa.
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Since Saturday, more than 1,000 low-magnitude earthquakes (up to 3.4 on the Richter scale) have been recorded under the Cumbre Vieja volcano, the Canary Islands Volcanological Institute (Involcan) said in a statement.
An activity linked to the displacement of nearly 11 million cubic meters of magma inside the volcano, added the Institute.
Change in the activity of the volcano
This "swarm" of earthquakes "undoubtedly represents a significant change in the activity of the volcano", in particular because "the earthquakes recorded are more superficial than those of previous seismic thrusts", he insists.
Faced with the risk of an eruption, the prefecture of the archipelago requested the use of the European system of geospatial measurements Copernicus.
There are 11 million cubic meters of magma in the interior of Cumbre Vieja.
In the figura se muestra el desplazamiento horizontal y vertical en algunas de las estaciones GNSS that forman part of the Red Geodésica Canaria ➡️ https://t.co/iIOLWRKCmD pic.twitter.com/yXG5bAKcGJ
- INVOLCAN (@involcan) September 16, 2021
The last eruption of Cumbre Vieja took place in 1971. Of volcanic origin, the Spanish archipelago of the Canaries experienced its last eruption in 2011, underwater this time, at the level of the island of El Hierro.