If you think the real world is getting closer to sci-fi movie plots, then you’re probably right…
After 50 years of staying dormant, the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the small island of La Palma, burst open at different points at once, sending lava flying 5000 feet into the air. Drone footage of the eruption shows lava flowing across the Small Canary Island, swallowing houses and swimming pools in burning hot lava. The incident led to the prompt evacuation of about 4500 residents and 500 tourists who were spending their holidays at the most unfortunate time.
This incident is the classic example of history repeating itself as the entire island rose from the sea due to a volcanic hot spot beneath the Earth’s crust, forming the region that is now known as La Palma. “The price and privilege of living on a beautiful little island is, in this case, its geological history,” Helen Robinson, a geoscientist from the University of Glasgow told NatGeo.
It’s been days since the volcanic eruption began but the flow of lava seems to be unstoppable. From the records, it seems like eruptions on La Palma can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months before dying out completely so nothing can be said about the outcome of this eruption yet. “The only way to know is to know the total volume of eruptible magma under Cumbre Vieja,” Spanish National Research Council volcanologist Pablo J. González told NatGeo. Despite scientists’ efforts to monitor the volcano and the lava movement, it’s still not easy to predict how long this eruption would last. “That piece of information is unknown.”
Residents in the surrounding areas have been warned about earthquakes, toxic gases, volcanic ash and acid rain in the upcoming weeks while most of them have been evacuated to different locations.