Overall Orange alert Volcanic eruption for La Palma
in Spain

Event summary

Volcanic eruption La Palma can have a medium humanitarian impact based on the exposed population and vulnerability.

GDACS ID VO 1000031
Name: La Palma
Glide number: CE-2021-000162-SOM
Lat/Lon: 28.57 , -17.83
Event Date: 19 Oct 2021 UTC
Exposed Population 30km: About 91000 people within 30km
Exposed Population 100km: About 130000 people within 100km
Max Volc. Explosivity Index VEI: 2
Population Exposure Index PEI: 4
Inserted at: 18 Oct 2021 15:46 UTC


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Virtual OSOCC
Meteo assessment
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Analytical products
Spain - Volcanic activity, update (ECHO 19 Oct 2021)Tue, 19 Oct 2021 11:48

  • The eruption is ongoing in Cumbre la Vieja volcano, as the main flow of lava is running along the northern flank towards the western coast of La Palma, in an area south-west of the La Laguna mountain (south of Tazacorte).
  • According to the Department of National Security (DSN), the height of the ash and gas column reaches 4,200 metres. On 19 October, the population of El Paso has been recommended to stay indoors, while activities for two educational centres will take place on-line, as air quality might worsen due to the possibility of the lava reaching the coast of Tazacorte. 
  • According to the Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service (), which was activated on 19 September to support the damage assessment, up to 2,017 buildings have been affected by the volcanic event.
  • La Palma airport is operational, although there are delays in inter-island flights due to the volcanic ash cloud.
Spain - Volcanic activity, update (ECHO 14 Oct 2021)Thu, 14 Oct 2021 12:18

  • The vent located in the southeastern flank of Cumbre La Vieja volcano in La Palma has been reactivated while the northern lava flow is slowing down and the southern one is moving 50 metres per hour. The amount of total affected area by the lava flows reached 640,27 ha.
  • According to the Department of National Security (DSN), 800 people have been evacuated following the advance of the northern lava flow on 12 October. In addition, PEVOLCA issued other evacuation orders for some villages located in Los Llanos de Aridane Municipality.
  • National authorities are assisting those people who lost their houses and are providing desalination plants installed to supply irrigation water.
  • The Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service () was activated on 19 September to support the damage assessment and 42 maps have been produced so far.
Spain - Volcanic activity, update (ECHO 12 Oct 2021)Tue, 12 Oct 2021 12:57

  • As the effusive and explosive activity is ongoing in Cumbre la Vieja volcano, two main lava flows have been affecting the Todoque area and the industrial area of Los Lanos de Aridane.
  • The Department of National Security (DSN) reports 1,281 affected houses and a total area of 525,77 ha affected by the lava flow, including 132 ha of cropland.
Spain - Volcanic activity, update (ECHO 30 Sep 2021)Thu, 30 Sep 2021 12:03

  • The lava emitted by the Cumbre la Vieja volcano maintains a continuous flow over the sea. An intense seismic activity has been reported over the Fuencaliente Municipality area (southern La Palma).
  • According to the Department of National Security (DSN), 855 houses have been destroyed, 126 partially damaged and a total area of 476 ha affected by the lava flow.
  • The maritime exclusion and the evacuation orders for the coastal areas of San Borondón, Marina Alta, Marina Baja and La Condesa (Tazacorte Municipality) are still in effect.
Spain - Volcanic activity, update (ECHO 28 Sep 2021)Tue, 28 Sep 2021 12:41

  • The explosive and effusive activity of Cumbre la Vieja is ongoing and two lava flows are moving towards the western coast. The northern lava flow, located  800-1,000 m from the coast of Tazacorte, is the most active while the southern lava flow is slowing down. 
  • According to the Government of Canarias, 300 people living in the coastal areas of San Borondón, Marina Alta, Marina Baja and La Condesa (Tazacorte Municipality) have been evacuated. In addition, 200 people returned to their homes, while 5,600 are still evacuated.
  • A 2.5 km exclusion radius around emission centres is recommended to minimize the risk of pyroclastic impact and exposure to gases; in areas affected by intense ash fall, it is recommended to stay indoors. 
  • The General Directorate of the Merchant Navy modified the no-navigation zone one mile further north considering the increased possibility that the lava flow could reach the coast.
Spain - Volcanic eruption, update (ECHO 24 Sep 2021)Fri, 24 Sep 2021 12:33

  • Cumbre La Vieja volcano continues its explosive and effusive activity. On 23 September since 16.20 UTC (17.20 local time), a series of powerful explosions with significant ash and gas emissions have been reported by the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute (INVOLCAN).
  • The lava flow is 3800 m long and is located 2100 m from the coast and its speed has slowed down. The lava affected the area of almost 220 ha. 
  • At least 5,700 people have been evacuated across the Municipalities of Tazacorte, El Pais and Los Llanos de Aridane and 400 houses have been destroyed. 800 emergency personnel from all administrations are currently working in the field.
  • The aviation colour code has risen to red due to the eruptive column of gases and ash emitted on 23 September.
  • The Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service (EMSR546) was activated on 19 September to support the damage assessment and eight maps have been produced so far.
Spain - Volcanic eruption, update (ECHO 22 Sep 2021)Wed, 22 Sep 2021 12:07

  • The lava flow emitted by Cumbre La Vieja volcano continues slowing down in westward direction and the speed has been reduced from 700 to 10 m/h. According to PEVOLCA and Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service, the main eruptive vent is located approximately 3,6 km east of Todoque village, and the extent of the affected area has reached 154,37 ha.
  • The daily level of sulfur dioxide emitted into the atmosphere is estimated at 8,000-10,600 tons
  • According to the Spanish National Emergency Centre (CENEM), the number of evacuated people stands at 6,800 and around 200 houses have been affected as well as 200 infrastructure and 400 tourists have been relocated in Tenerife island.
  • The alert level of the volcano stands at Red (on a four-level scale from Green to Red). A 2 km exclusion radius around emission centres is recommended to minimize the risk of pyroclastic impact and exposure to gases. Furthermore, restrictions on maritime traffic are still active.
  • The Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service was activated on 19 September to support the damage assessment and four maps have been produced so far.
Spain - Volcanic eruption, update (ECHO 21 Sep 2021)Tue, 21 Sep 2021 12:01

  • The activity of the Cumbre Vieja volcano (La Palma Island, Canary Islands) is ongoing, a new eruptive vent (9 in total) has been reported 900 m from the main crater very close to the Tacande village (El Paso Municipality). The speed of the lava flow towards the western coast of La Palma is slowing down, as reported by the Government of Canary Islands. The alert level of the volcano stands at red.
  • According to the Spanish National Emergency Centre (CENEM), around 180 houses have been affected by the lava flow and six roads are still cut  across El Paso, Los Llanos de Aridane, San Andrés and Tajuya Localities.
  • The number of people evacuated has increased to more than 6,000 and school activities have been interrupted in three municipalities.
  • The Government of Canary Islands has issued an exclusion radius of two nautical miles from the coast and the area cannot be accessed for security reasons, all flights are operating normally.
  • The Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service () was activated on 19 September and produced two maps so far.
Spain - Volcanic eruption (ECHO 20 Sep 2021)Mon, 20 Sep 2021 12:45

  • The Cumbre Vieja volcano, located in southern La Palma Island (western Canary Islands), following several days of seismic activity, started erupting on 19 September at 14.15 UTC (15.15 local time). The eruption was characterized by lava fountains, lava flows and ash emissions from several eruptive vents on the western slope of Cumbre Vieja. Volcanic ash is falling in the vicinity of the volcano.
  • According to the Spanish National Centre for Emergencies, CENEM, at least 5,000 people have been evacuated (it is not unlikely that more evacuations may take place in the next hours or days, depending on the evolution of the event)  and some roads have been closed. People living in the area of Alcalá and El Paraíso have already been evacuated and the evacuation of El Paso, Los Llanos de Aridane and Tazacorte has begun, following the advance of the lava flow that has been reported across El Paso village.
  • The alert level of the volcano raised from Yellow to Red (on a four-level scale from Green to Red).
  • The Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service (EMSR546) was activated on 19 September.
Detailed event map. European Union, 2021. Map produced by EC-JRC.
The boundaries and the names shown on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the European Union.

Updates on volcanic activity (Smithsonian)

The Smithsonian/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report provides information about global volcanism on a weekly basis. Latest La Palma report has been published on 13 Oct 2021 09:00.
The eruption at La Palma continued during 6-12 October, characterized by Strombolian explosions, lava fountaining from multiple vents, advancing and branching lava flows, and daily ash emissions. Eruption details are based on official sources including PEVOLCA (Plan de Emergencias Volc?nicas de Canarias) steering committee summaries. Seismicity continued to be elevated with most earthquakes located 10-15 km deep (though some deeper than 35 km) in the same area where the swarm first began on 11 September; dozens of events were felt by local residents and some were felt across the entire island. The largest earthquake, at 0816 on 12 October, was a M 4.1 at a depth of 37 km. Sulfur dioxide emissions fluctuated at high levels between 4,522 and 21,868 tons per day. Sulfur dioxide plumes drifted in multiple directions; on 8 October they reached the Caribbean and on 12 October plumes were over northern Africa, Spain, and Portugal. The main cone had at least three effusive vents and another vent to the N was also active. Multiple collapses of parts of the cone sometimes sent large blocks of cooler lava rafting down the flows. The lava delta was fed by numerous streams of lava during most of the week. Plumes of steam containing hydrochloric acid rose from the edge of the lava delta and were quickly dissipated by the wind; local resident were not affected. On 6 October a breakout lava flow from the W end of the main flow field traveled S between Los Guirres and El Charc? (previously evacuated), destroying crops and buildings. The flow covered about 0.4 square kilometers and was about 350 m from the coast. Ash plumes rose 3-3.2 km (10,000-10,500 ft) a.s.l. during 6-7 October. On 8 October a new vent formed on the main cone and ash plumes rose as high as 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l. Ash accumulation at the La Palma and Tenerife North (on Tenerife Island) airports caused a temporary shutdown of operations until the ash was removed. On 9 October a collapse of the N part of the cone sent a wide, multi-lobed flow carrying larger blocks NW over older flows that quickly advanced W along the N margins of the flow field, covering crops and destroying buildings in both Todoque and an industrial area. Ash plumes continued to rise from the vents; lightning was visible in the plume at times. By 10 October the flow field was 1,520 m wide, and covered 4.9-5.7 square kilometers, depending on the source of the estimates. Between 726 and 1,323 buildings had been engulfed by lava and more than 1.3 square kilometers of crops were lost. About 6,000 people had been evacuated. A partial collapse of the cone allowed the inner lava lake to spill out, sending flows and very large cooled blocks downslope. Ash plumes rose 3.5 km a.s.l. and caused ashfall to the S. Video showed lava fountains rising 500 m above the vent late that night. By 11 October the lava delta had grown mainly to the N and S, and was an estimated 0.34 square kilometers in size, though flows feeding it had slowed. Dense dark ash plumes were seen rising from the main vents. The most northern flow had continued to advance and was 300 m from the coast. The flows overtook a concrete plant, prompting authorities to instruct residents in El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane to remain indoors and take measures to reduce exposure to toxic fumes. On 12 October the advancing northern flow caused the pre-emptive evacuation of the La Laguna area, totaling 700-800 people. The flow continued to cover crops and was 200 m from the coast, but had slowed. The lockdown for El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane was lifted after air quality improved. Ash plumes from the main vent rose 3.5 km a.s.l. The Alert Level remained at Red (the highest level on a four-color scale) for affected communities. Sources: 1-1-2 Canarias,Advanced geospatial Data Management Platform (ADAM) ,Aena,Asociaci?n Volcanes de Canarias,Gobierno de Canaries ,Instituto Geogr?fico Nacional (IGN),Instituto Geol?gico y Minero de Espa?a (IGME),Instituto Volcanol?gico de Canarias (INVOLCAN)
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Latest media headlines

Articles: 7398 | About casualties: 8 | Last hour: 0

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El presidente del Parlamento de Canarias, Gustavo Matos, ha enviado hoy un mensaje de apoyo y aliento a La Palma cuando se cumple un mes de erupción volcánica. “Nuestro apoyo a todas las personas afectadas por esta catástrofe, a quienes han
Eruzione alle Canarie: una colata di lava a pochi metri dal mare, un’a ... 2021-10-19T21:00+0200.

L’isola di La Palma, alle Canarie, continua a fare i conti con l’ eruzione del vulcano Cumbre Vieja, iniziata esattamente un mese fa, il 19 settembre scorso. Diverse colate di lava continuano a farsi strada sull’isola. Nelle ultime ore, una

Estimated casualties (PAGER)

USGS estimates the number of casualties for each earthquake for the Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER) product.
The graph shows the current fatalities estimate.

Exposed population

Data, images, links, services and documents

For this events, GDACS has links to information from the following sources: EMSR (2), EC-JRC (31), (1), INGV (2), WMO (1), INFORM (2),