Volcano emergency operation to continue ‘with same intensity’ as long as eruption lasts

‘Stay indoors’ order remains in force for Tazacorte districts near the coast.

Air quality remains good, but precautions are still required when handling ash.

The Canarian Minister responsible for the region’s Volcano Emergencies Plan (PEVOLCA), Julio Pérez, has stated that the current operation to ensure the safety of the population of La Palma will continue as long as the eruption lasts.  A red alert remains in force, and in the Tazacorte districts, near the coast – which have been affected by heavy ashfall – the public have been advised to remain indoors.

We are working as one administration in this crisis” said Pérez, after chairing Monday’s (28th September) meetings of the Scientific and Steering Committees. Canarian president, Ángel Víctor Torres, took part in the meeting via video link.

Approximately 200 people evacuated last Friday had been allowed to return to their houses in Tajuya, Tacande de Arriba, and Tacande de Abajo yesterday, and the 5600 evacuated on the first day remain out of their homes as a precaution.

Two lava flows currently remain active. The northern one is moving mostly on top of previous flows and has reached the vicinity of Todoque Mountain, where it has slowed. It has two lobes: one which is attempting to get around Todoque Mountain, to the north but faces a slope of consideration size, while the other is moving southwards in the direction of an E-W streambed south of Todoque Mountain. The southern lava flow continues to advance slowly.

Given the possibility that the lava might reach the sea and trigger explosions and vapourisations, the Scientific Steering Committee ordered 300 residents of coastal parts of Tazacorte (San Borondón, Marina Alta, Marina Baja, and La Condesa) to remain indoors. However, a spokesman for the Committee stressed that gas clouds of this kind dilute rapidly and the ‘stay indoors’ measure had been ordered as a precaution, as required by the Civil Protection Law and PEVOLCA Plan.

Following the latest changes in the eruption process, and in view of the increased possibility that the lava will come into contact with the sea, the Directorate General for Merchant Shipping has also extended the No Sailing Zone one mile further north.

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