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The Civil Guard has already evacuated 5,000 people affected by the new volcano on La Palma (Canary Islands), which erupted this Sunday at 3:12 p.m. local time, in Montaña Rajada, in the forest area of Cabeza de Vaca, in El He passed. The level of emergency has changed to a red light on the island at 5:00 p.m. local time, and affects the municipalities of Tazacorte, El Paso, Fuencaliente, Mazo and Los Llanos de Aridane, with some 35,000 people in total. Residents of the area of Alcalá and El Paraíso have already been evacuated, and the evacuation of neighborhoods of El Paso, Los Llanos de Aridane and Tazacorte has begun, in anticipation of the advance of the lava tongue. The authorities believe that in total up to 10,000 people could be evacuated and recommend that the population close all windows and exterior doors,lower the blinds and shut off the water, gas and electricity supplies and make your way to the established meeting points.
A small earthquake preceded, in the Las Manchas neighborhood of the La Palma municipality of El Paso, a large explosion that was followed by a huge column of smoke and the expulsion of pyroclasts. The magma originally caused two fissures, two different eruptive mouths in the mountain through which lava flows flowed. According to Involcan (Instituto Volcanológico de Canarias), in just a few hours, those two cracks became seven. The volcano has arisen in an uninhabited mountain area, and has caused small forest fires. Local authorities have asked that no one come near the area.
The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has postponed his planned trip to New York this Sunday, and is already on La Palma. The air navigation manager in Spain, Enaire, has issued a recommendation as a preventive measure that no flights to the island depart. It will be the airlines that will ultimately decide whether to fly to La Palma, as air traffic is not closed. The Canarian Government has asked the Ministry of Defense for the intervention of the Military Emergency Unit (UME), which will travel to the Canary Island this very night.
Sergio Rodríguez, the mayor of El Paso, has told this newspaper that the lava has damaged some homes, but that, in principle, "it will not be problematic."
Likewise, he has ensured that some 350 people are heading to the municipality's soccer field, where they will remain until the situation is controlled.
The Ministry of Education of the islands has decided to suspend classes this Monday in the municipalities of El Paso, Los Llanos de Aridane and Tazacorte, according to Canarias Radio.
The keys to the Cumbre Vieja volcano
The seismic swarm of Cumbre Vieja that began last Saturday, September 11, has led, in a rapid and energetic process, into a telluric episode that occurs half a century after Teneguía, so far the youngest surface volcano in Spain. The volcano has emerged in an uninhabited mountain area while the population with reduced mobility in nearby towns was being evacuated, causing small forest fires.
After two quiet days on the Canary Island, the seismic activity had reactivated with several earthquakes felt by the population on Sunday morning (the largest of 3.8), giving clear testimony that the volcanic crisis was precipitating. The movements have been felt in six locations. In addition, numerous earthquakes above magnitude 2 are repeated over and over again in increasingly shallow depths near the small town of El Paso, three of them also felt by palm trees, according to data from the National Geographic Institute (IGN). Since this phenomenon began, the IGN has registered more than 6,600 small earthquakes in the Cumbre Vieja area, in the south of La Palma. In the current pre-eruptive situation,the authorities have decided to proceed with the "preventive evacuation" of fifty dependents who live in the most affected neighborhoods.
La Palma: Canary Islands tremble again due to a possible volcanic eruption
Earthquakes located by the IGN on the island of La Palma.IGN / Europa Press
This seismic swarm, as this temporary concentration is called at a site of numerous small earthquakes, alerted scientists to the possibility of a surface volcanic eruption.
Volcanic activity on La Palma had ceased since the Teneguía eruption in 1971, at the southern tip of the island.
But in 2017, seismic activity was reactivated and in these years there have been several swarms until the latter and more intense, which began on September 11.
The alert affects four municipalities with about 35,000 people affected in total
On Thursday, scientists recorded a 10-centimeter deformation of the island right in the Cumbre Vieja area where the earthquakes are occurring, which would indicate the presence of magma in the subsoil exerting pressure towards the surface.
Since then, this deformation had slowed down, but today the IGN reported that the island has already bulged up to 15 centimeters.
In addition, earthquakes occur increasingly at shallower depths.
This crisis began with earthquakes more than 20 kilometers deep and those that have occurred in recent days are around five kilometers, with some, the most intense, only a few hundred meters from the surface.
The scientists warned that it was likely "the occurrence of earthquakes felt of greater intensity, which can cause damage to buildings"
The crisis committee (Pevolca) had already announced on Friday that it was likely "the occurrence of felt earthquakes of greater intensity, which can cause damage to buildings."
They also warned of the possibility of rock falls (Puerto Naos).
For this reason, today it has been decided to close the forest trails and tracks in that area of the island.
In addition, the experts did not rule out the beginning of other phenomena observable on the surface, such as changes in temperature, odor and color of the water or the anomalous behavior of animals.
[This news can be updated with news about the seismic situation]
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