Over a third of La Palma's population had to be confined due to poor air quality

Published on December 14, 2021
La PalmaNews from La Palma
la palma volcano smoke seen from tenerife canary islands
The smoke column from the eruption on La Palma, seen by us from Tenerife in Teide National Park

Due to high levels of air quality in sulfur dioxide, the authorities in La Palma had to order yesterday the confinement of the population in the municipalities of Los Llanos de Aridane, El Paso and Tazacorte.

This Civil Protection measure came into force at 8:45 a.m. and ended at 1:00 p.m. when the values ​​at these stations improved.d Security, Julio Pérez, director of the Plan.

In regards to the air quality, the Technical Director of PEVOLCA, Miguel Ángel Morcuende, explained that sulfur dioxide (SO2) reached extremely unfavorable values ​​in the three municipalities of the Aridane Valley in the first hours of yesterday, which led to the measure of confining people to remain in their homes.  This measure also included students who were already in educational centers, transferring the activity to the interior in order to guarantee their safety at all times, as established in the School Action Plan against emissions from volcanic activity.

The spokesperson for the Scientific Committee, María José Blanco, pointed out the increase in SO2 yesterday morning at the Los Llanos de Aridane, El Paso and Tazacorte stations, having reached extremely unfavorable levels, and said that the highest levels recorded had been exceeded 5 times the normal values in El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane and 4 times in Tazacorte.

The confinement measure affected almost 33,000 residents who live in these three municipalities, which together represent 39.5% of the island's population (83,458).

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