Regions throughout the central United States are left reeling from Friday night’s storms and multitudes of tornadoes. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, one Spanish island is battling an entirely different natural disaster. The Spanish island of La Palma, located within the Canary Islands, has seen the volcanic eruption of Cumbre Vieja continue into its 85th day.
Overall, the island volcano’s continuous eruption, initially activating on September 19th, has marked La Palma’s longest-lasting eruption on record.
According to ABC News, Spanish experts had initially predicted that the volcanic eruption could last up to three months. Now, locals continue about their daily lives as lava coats the Spanish island. At the same time, Cumbre Vieja approaches the conclusion of its third active month.
Additionally, ABC News reports that until recently, La Palma’s volcano has maintained low levels of activity. However, soon enough, on Sunday, the volcanic eruption saw increased activity. As a result, island residents saw and heard loud explosions and ash clouds sent high into the sky.
Further, despite the volcano’s months-long activity and the destruction/damage of more than 3,000 La Palma buildings and structures, ABC reports no deaths or injuries have directly stemmed from the volcanic eruption.
In response to the ongoing activity, the island’s senior government official, Mariano Hernández, states, “scientists won’t say exactly when [the eruption] might come to an end.” However, experts have continued their evaluation of the volcanic eruption, measuring both the number and magnitude of local earthquakes, as well as sulfur dioxide levels.
La Palma Volcano Causes Major Destruction in Months Since Eruption
After nearly three months of activity, La Palma’s island volcano has caused major destruction to both natural lands and commercial and private structures alike.
Early October had already seen the destruction of nearly 800 La Palma buildings. Lava has since overflowed farmlands and sent molten rock sliding into the sea. At that time, nearly 6,000 citizens evacuated, their homes left in the hands of Cumbre Vieja.
October reports additionally saw a large number of farmland acreage destroyed, totaling 370 acres. Now, after months of ash raining down, the island’s main crop, bananas, has largely been destroyed.
Further, current reports show no proof of lightning flashes. However, ash flying in October resulted in just that eery image. As ash particles collided during the volcanic explosions, they frequently resulted in flashes of lightning.
However, while the La Palma island volcano’s eruption makes local history as the longest recorded, it’s also resulting in an entirely different phenomenon.
Previous reports stated the mass amount of lava will create new islands, a lava delta already formed months ago. As new islands formed from the eruption, people on the mainland saw volcanic gas rising from the landmasses. At the time, first responders identified the masses as “land reclaimed from the sea.”