The volcanic eruption of Cumbre Vieja, on the Spanish island of La Palma, can last between 24 and 84 days, with a geometric average of about 55 days, according to calculations by the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcan).
The institute explained, through social media, that the duration of the eruption is one of the questions that experts ask frequently and, although it is not easy to answer, it can be calculated using known data on the duration of the historical eruptions that occurred on the island of La Palma.
According to these data, the last volcanic eruption on the island, Teneguía in 1971, lasted 24 days; that of San Juan in 1949, 47 days, and that of Charco in 1712, 56 days.
The eruption of the San Antonio volcano, dated between 1667 and 1678, lasted 66 days; that of Tigalate in 1646 lasted 82 days and that of Tehuya in 1585, 84 days.
For the Tacande volcano, which erupted between 1430 and 1440, there is no data on how long this process lasted.
With these data, Involcan calculates that the current eruption, which began on Sunday, September 19, could last an average of 55 days, with a maximum of 84 days and a minimum of 24.
Invocan also reported that, according to its measurements, the volcanic eruption in La Palma emitted between 6,140 and 11,500 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2) daily into the atmosphere.
On the other hand, the Institute states that the area affected by the lava flows that have been flowing since Sunday now totals 153 hectares of surface, based on satellite images from the European program Copernicus.
The latest map provided by this European emergency monitoring program shows the situation at 8.14 am on Tuesday, September 21st.
Compared to the previous map, taken at 7.50 pm on Monday, September 20, it shows that the affected area has grown from 103 to 153 hectares.
The lava from the Cumbre Vieja volcano continues to drag everything in its path, descending towards the coast of the island of La Palma. .
The eruption has already caused the evacuation of 6,100 people, including 400 tourists “who have been driven out of risk zones” and settled in Tenerife, the largest of the islands in the archipelago, according to a statement by the Canary Islands regional government made on Tuesday at the end of the day.
Despite this situation on this island of 85,000 inhabitants, there were no deaths or injuries, but the damage is enormous, over 400 million euros, according to the president of the autonomous community of the Canary Islands, Angel Victor Torres.
So far, the lava has destroyed 185 buildings, 63 of which are thought to be homes, the regional government said.