the fjaja generated by the entry into the sea of lava expelled by the volcano Cumbre Vieja continues to grow and already has more than 40 hectares and threatens to break, reported the Department of National Security of Spain.
The volcano came into activity on September 19th and the magma flow reached the sea in the Tazacorte area around midnight on Tuesday, September 28th, and activity has now increased again.
The contact of the lava, at more than a thousand degrees centigrade, with sea water, at around 20 degrees, caused a cloud of acid gases, which forced them to confine the closest populations, and immediately began to create a peninsula, prolonging the territory of the island.
The heap of lava generated what is called a fajã, name given to the flat peninsulas created in the Macaronesia Islands (Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands and Cape Verde) by lava entering the sea.
There are two famous fajãs in La Palma, the French and the Barlavento, but there is another land conquered from the sea by the eruption of the San Juan volcano in 1949, which became a fertile field for growing banana trees.
The last known eruption before the current one was the Teneguía volcano in 1971, which lasted 24 days and conquered from the sea a territory of two square kilometers known today as Echentive beach.
Cumbre Vieja fajã is still in formation and unstable. Experts estimate that it has already crossed the island shelf and with the lava still flowing, it is sinking deeper and this threatens to break the delta’s front, which, if it happens, could create a sharp cloud of toxic and hydromagmatic explosions, warn the authorities.
The growing peninsula is already at a distance of more than 500 meters from the coastline and at a depth of 30 meters.
O land increased to the island is, curiously, the property of the Spanish State, forming part of the national geological heritage, and therefore subject to the Law on Natural Heritage and Biodiversity
The total surface affected by magma on the island of Palma, in the Canary Islands, already exceeds the 471 hectares, with a perimeter of 36 kilometers and a maximum width of 1,250 meters, including 120 hectares of cultivated land, mostly banana trees.
The latest data on losses point to at least 726 buildings destroyed by lava and 128 partially affected. More than 33 kilometers of roads were affected, including 26.47 kilometers completely covered by lava.
European satellite service Copernicus estimates more than 4,800 hectares of territory covered in volcanic ash.
The volcano continues to expel large amounts of lava and, given the current seismic activity recorded in the Cumbre Vieja, more than 100 small-scale earthquakes in 24 hours, experts admit that there may be new magma outlets.
The main cone gave way and this increased the expelled lava, which appears more fluid and causing fears of changing the course of existing flows, warn the experts.