Experts say the eruption of Spanish volcano La Palma is over

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Aerial view of the volcano Cumbre Vieja, in Tacande, on the Canary Island of La Palma, December 16, 2021.

Aerial view of the volcano Cumbre Vieja, in Tacande, on the Canary Island of La Palma, December 16, 2021.
Photography: Jorge Guerrero / AFP (Getty Images)

After nearly three months of destroying La Palma with its lava, ash and earthquakes, the last days the Cumbre Vieja Volcano fell silent on the island. Experts have officially confirmed that the eruption ended on Christmas. Some media, even Spanish President, he said it was a volcanic version of a holiday gift. Yet it is hard to imagine anything that caused such a tragedy since it is a type of giving.

In reality, the activity of Cumbre Vieja stopped 10 days ago, which caused a feeling of cautious hope among the residents who experienced the volcano the longest eruption for 375 years. However, scientists have warned that they cannot confirm that the eruption is over until volcanic activity stops for a period of 10 days. Saturday at 3pm local time in Spanish National Geographic Institute gave official confirmation.

The latest chapter of Cumbre Vieja has been written. The eruption, which began Sept. 19, ended Dec. 13 and lasted 85 days and 8 hours.

“What I want to say today can be said in just four words: the eruption is over,” said Julio Pérez, the regional security chief of the Canary Islands, according to Reuters.

This aerial image shows a house covered in lava and ash after the eruption of the volcano Cumbre Vieja in Las Manchas on the Canary Island of La Palma on December 14, 2021.

This aerial image shows a house covered in lava and ash after the eruption of the volcano Cumbre Vieja in Las Manchas on the Canary Island of La Palma on December 14, 2021.
Photography: Jorge Guerrero / AFP (Getty Images)

However, the end of the eruption does not necessarily mean the end of some of the dangers associated with the event, according to a statement from the National Geographic Institute. Spanish authorities have announced that the state of emergency is not over, writes the Spanish daily The State reported, noting that lava flows with high temperatures and volcanic gases still exist on the island.

María José Blanco, director of the National Geographic Institute in the Canary Islands, explained that all indications are that Cumbre Vieja has run out of energy, but did not turn off future reactivation.

Although the end of the eruption was greeted by residents of La Palma and beyond, she also focused on the destruction of the volcano and highlighted the tremendous effort needed to recover. Cumbre Vieja it covered about 3,009 hectares of land (1,218 hectares) with lion, 914 hectares (370 hectares) of which crops. The volcano destroyed 1,676 buildings and buried 45.8 miles (73.8 kilometers) of highways.

An excavator removes ash from a street covered in lava and ash after the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano in Las Manchas on the Canary Island of La Palma on December 14, 2021.

An excavator removes ash from a street covered in lava and ash after the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano in Las Manchas on the Canary Island of La Palma on December 14, 2021.
Photography: Jorge Guerrero / AFP (Getty Images)

More than 7,000 people have been evacuated from the island in the last three months. Of those evacuated, more than 2,300 were direct affected by the eruption. About 500 victims live in hotels and no longer have a home. In the meantime, the other quarters are filled with people living in motor homes or plastic tents.

The Spanish government said it would send approximately $ 453 million to help La Palma with reconstruction, help some residents and businesses say is slow to get to where it is needed. Authorities are working to make the areas safe and have basic services before residents are allowed to return.

This will not happen soon, said Rubén Fernández, interim director of the Canary Islands Volcano Emergency Plan Earth, but the end of the eruption was the first step.

“There’s a lot of work to be done,” Fernández said.



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