palm A relatively strong earthquake and new lava flow caused new disturbances on the volcanic island of La Palma. Air traffic to the island has been suspended for an indefinite period due to volcanic ash.
The Spanish Seismological Institute said the earthquake, measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale, was the most powerful since the eruption of the volcano two and a half weeks ago on the Canary Island.
The media quoted experts as saying that the 85,000 earthquake was felt by many residents of La Palma, but it occurred at a depth of about 35 kilometers, and therefore does not pose a significant danger to volcanic activity. The damage was not initially reported.
Meanwhile, according to the regional authorities, a tributary of lava was created. Previously rescued areas have been affected, but not very large. She said farm workers and scientists should have been rushed to safety.
Due to volcanic ash, air traffic to the island was suspended indefinitely on Thursday, airport operator Aina announced. Airlines Binter and Canaryfly announced the day before that they would not be flying to the island from Thursday. The only option left for travelers was the sea route. Ferries take about four hours to the neighboring larger island of Tenerife, where air traffic is operating normally.
Authorities have called on people close to the volcano to stay indoors due to the gray rain and to wear outdoor FFP2 masks and goggles. Ash are tiny fragments of cold magma that the volcano has thrown into the air and can be felt on the skin like pin pricks, reports La Vanguardia.
The volcano in the south of the island, previously less known to tourists than other Canary Islands such as Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria or Lanzarote, erupted on September 19 for the first time in 50 years. How long it will remain active, volcanologists have not been able to determine. They said it could take months.
According to official reports, more than 1,000 structures have been destroyed by lava since the eruption began. About 6000 people were taken to safety. There is great damage to agriculture and infrastructure.