The eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano began in the municipality of El Paso on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands (Spain) on September 19, 2021. This event is of great interest and concern to many tourists. Can I go on vacation to the Canary Islands now? Is it safe and what tourists need to know? Get the latest news about the situation in the Canary Islands after the volcanic eruption.
The eruption stopped on December 13, 2021, after 85 days of activity. It was the longest eruption recorded on the island.
Tourists are not always guided correctly in names. Don't be confused: La Palma is an island, but Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is a popular city on another island. The distance from La Palma to Tenerife is approximately 85 kilometers (52 miles).
La Palma is one of the islands of the Canary islands, and not the most popular among tourists. Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote are the most popular among tourists islands of the archipelago.
Previous eruptions on La Palma lasted from one to three months. No eruption on La Palma lasted less than 24 days. There is no reason to believe that the current eruption will be shorter.
Look La Palma location on the large map.
As of September 27, 2021, the volcano has no official name yet. Possible naming options: Cumbre Vieja, Tajogaite and Jedey.
About 5,500 people on the island were forced to flee their homes in the early days of the eruption. Navigation was partially closed on the coastal strip.
The greatest damage was done to the homes of local residents and agriculture. If the eruption had occurred on the eastern side of the island, tourism would have suffered the most damage.
Some of the tourists were relocated to the island of Tenerife.
On Friday, September 24, a new mouth opened on one side of the volcanic cone and a new lava flow emerged.
La Palma airport was closed to air traffic on Saturday 25 September. The airport was closed for approximately 24 hours. (It is not the busiest airport in the Canary Islands. Most tourists arrive in the Canary Islands via other airports.)
September 26, 2021. At the moment, three flows of volcanic lava are coming out of the mouths of the volcano.
September 27, 2021. Volcanic lava may reach the sea today. The air is polluted with ash and toxic gases in the eastern part of the island of La Palma. The inhabitants of the island are not advised to play sports on the street. Classes in schools have been suspended.
September 27, 2021. On Monday, flights to La Palma Island were once again suspended. Flights are scheduled to resume on Tuesday 28 September.
September 28, 2021. La Palma volcano entered a phase where pauses and increased eruption activities alternate. This is common for volcanoes and eruptions of this type.
Volcanic lava has not yet reached the sea.
September 28, 2021. Wind can cause ash to move to more remote areas. At higher levels, ash can reach the islands of La Gomera and Tenerife.
September 29. Volcanic lava reached the sea last night. Residents are warned that clouds of water vapor can be toxic.
September 29, 2021. Water vapor and toxic gas produced by the contact of volcanic lava with water is limited to a small area on the ocean, without danger to the local population.
😷 01 October 2021. New lava flows are highly likely to be created. Air quality continues to be the biggest cause of concern.
Residents are advised to wear FFP2 masks to protect themselves from ash in areas close to the volcano.
02 October 2021 (Saturday). The volcano continues to maintain the same intensity as in previous days. New lava flows appeared on Friday. Since the beginning of the volcanic eruption, no one has died. Large material damage was inflicted, lava destroyed 870 buildings. It was necessary to evacuate about 6,000 inhabitants of the island. There is no danger for other islands.
04 October 2021 (Monday). Part of the volcano's cone collapsed at night. This led to an increase in lava output. More than a thousand buildings have already been damaged. Of these, 946 were completely destroyed. (There is no danger for tourists on other islands.)
October 13, 2021. The volcanic eruption affected only 8 percent of La Palma's surface. The rest of the island is completely safe. The island's airport is fully operational, like the other airports in the Canary Islands.
October 24, 2021 (Sunday). An earthquake of magnitude 4.9 was recorded on the island this Saturday. During the night from Saturday to Sunday, 60 small earthquakes were recorded.
The air quality outside the Cumbre Vieja area on La Palma is still at a normal level.
October 27, 2021. The volcano remains very active. On Tuesday there was an earthquake that was felt even in Tenerife, La Gomera.
03 November 2021. The eruption of the volcano continues. Volcanologist Carmen Lopez believes there are "positive signs" of a possible decline in volcanic activity. (But they require confirmation.)
🌋 The eruption of the volcano affects a very limited area. Normal tourist activity continues in the rest of the Canary Islands for now. The emergency is limited to the island of La Palma only.
The interest of tourists to travel to the Canary Islands has even increased. This is the so-called "Volcano Tourism". Many people would like to see this unique natural phenomenon. Perhaps some cruise ships will make adjustments to the itinerary and will approach the island of La Palma so that tourists can see the volcano.
Look also: Mauna Loa volcano erupting.