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Due to the increased seismic activity in the area of Cumbre Vieja, the island of La Palma is placed under alert level with the activation of the yellow warning code due to volcanic risk.
The Government of the Canary Islands today convened the Scientific Committee of the Special Plan for Civil Protection and Attention to Emergencies due to Volcanic Risk (PEVOLCA) to assess the situation, agreeing to activate the Alert Situation for Fuencaliente, Los Llanos de Aridane, El Paso and Mazo and also agreed to change the traffic light from green to yellow for said municipalities.
PEVOLCA establishes a volcanic traffic light as an alert system for the population, which is based on four colors depending on the risk. In yellow, information to the population, surveillance measures and monitoring of volcanic and seismic activity is intensified. At the current level, the activity does not imply an increased risk for the population.
According to Instituto Volcanológico de Canarias:
In recent years, the Cumbre Vieja volcano has experienced 10 seismic swarms, including the one that began this past Saturday (1 in 2017, 1 in 2018, 5 in 2020 and 3 in 2021).
This last swarm that began at 04:18 (Canary Islands time) on September 11, 2021, currently registered more than 400 earthquakes located under Cumbre Vieja at depths of around 12 km, unlike the depth of previous seismic swarms that oscillated between 20 and 30 km. Undoubtedly, the current seismic swarm represents a significant change in the activity of the Cumbre Vieja volcano and is related to a magmatic intrusion process in the interior crust of the Island of La Palma.
Regarding the geochemical monitoring of volcanic gases, the Helium-3 emission data recorded also confirm the magmatic character of this process, registering the highest value observed in the last 30 years.
Due to all of the above, it was recommended to the Government to change the volcanic traffic light from green to yellow in the Cumbre Vieja area, and it cannot be ruled out that the seismic activity felt in the coming days will intensify, depending on the evolution.