Seismic activity is unleashed in the Cumbre Vieja area, in La Palma (Canary Islands). Since last Saturday there has been a swarm with more than 400 earthquakes. For this reason, the authorities have decided to declare the yellow alert for volcanic risk in a “preventive” manner. The affected areas are Los Llanos, Fuencaliente, El Paso and Mazo. But What does it mean that they are on yellow alert?
These types of alerts are delimited within the Special Plan for Civil Protection and Attention to Volcanic Risk Emergencies (PEVOLCA). The four-color traffic light indicates the situation in which the zone is; but also additional measures that must be carried out. These colors are: green, yellow (alert), orange (high alert, pre-eruptive femomena detected), and red (emergency, there is an ongoing eruption).
Volcanic risk on La Palma
The authorities have called for calm since the yellow level does not mean a greater risk for the population
In this case, the yellow mean new measures how to intensify information to the population, watch and monitor volcanic and seismic activity. However, the change from green to yellow in these areas near Cumbre Vieja does not mean there is an increased risk for citizens, according to the Europa Press news agency. In addition, the authorities have called for calm; since it is the second level of four within the alert. In the next few days, if there are changes in the situation, it will be known if the alert increases or decreases.
Although seismic activity with a swarm of more than 400 earthquakes began last Saturday, September 11, in reality this type of situation has been occurring for several years. More specifically since 2017. In addition, last summer began to increase the number of swarms.
Will there be an eruption?
The latter, in fact, has been the most intense of the eight that have occurred since 2020. On the other hand, the monitoring of volcanic gases has confirmed, according to EP, that Helium-3 emissions have been recorded. This confirms “the magmatic character of this process, when registering the highest observed value of the last 30 years “, indicates the information agency. Therefore, these signs seem to announce a possible eruption, although cannot be confirmed yet. However, to avoid problems, the authorities have decided to increase the color of the alert for the risk of a volcano erupting. Although we insist: for the moment there is no danger for the population that lives in this area of La Palma.
In short, these areas of La Palma are on alert; authorities are watching for a volcanic eruption. It might or might not happen, we can just wait and see how the situation evolves.