Overall Orange alert Volcanic eruption for La Palma
in Spain

Event summary

Volcanic eruption La Palma can have a medium humanitarian impact based on the exposed population and vulnerability.

GDACS ID VO 1000031
Name: La Palma
Glide number: VO-2021-000146-ESP
Lat/Lon: 28.57 , -17.83
Event Date: 29 Nov 2021 UTC
Exposed Population 30km: About 91000 people within 30km
Exposed Population 100km: About 130000 people within 100km
Max Volc. Explosivity Index VEI: 2
Population Exposure Index PEI: 4
Inserted at: 18 Oct 2021 15:46 UTC

GDACS Score

For more info on GDACS alert score click here.
Virtual OSOCC
Meteo assessment
Satellite products
Analytical products
Spain - Volcanic activity, update (ECHO 10 Nov 2021)Wed, 10 Nov 2021 13:03

  • The eruption is ongoing in Cumbre la Vieja volcano (La Palma Island, Canary Islands), and the lava flow has exceeded the pre-existing front moving south and reaching the coast at Playa de Los Guirres. The amount of the affected area by the lava is more than 988 ha.
  • 7,200 people have been evacuated.
  • Currently, several emission centres with variable activity are still active and the emission of PM10 suspended particles has improved in the values from "extremely unfavorable" to "unfavorable" in Los Llanos de Aridane, El Paso, Tazacorte, Puntagorda and Tijarafe. In addition, the emission of sulfur dioxide (SO2) associated with the volcanic plume continues to be high, with values between 9,000 and 13,000 tons per day.
  • School classes have re-started today in the affected municipalities.
  • National authorities are providing help for the farmers of La Palma affected by the eruption.
  • The Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service () was activated on 19 September to support the damage assessment and 98 maps have been produced so far.
Spain - Volcanic activity, update (ECHO 28 Oct 2021)Thu, 28 Oct 2021 12:22

  • A new rupture of the main cone has been reported on 27 October and the lava has been flowing westwards over the coast. An increase in sulfur dioxide (SO2) values has been recorded on the west side of the island as well as the seismic activity with earthquakes greater than 3.5 MbLg in medium and deep depths (more than 20 km).   
  • According to the Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service (), 2,183 buildings have been destroyed, 113 damaged and an area of 911 ha affected.
  • Following the possibility that the northern lava flow could reach the sea, the Maritime Captaincy established a perimeter of exclusion from Puerto Naos to Tazacorte and 0.5 nautical mile off the coast.
Spain - Volcanic activity, update (ECHO 21 Oct 2021)Thu, 21 Oct 2021 12:33

  • In La Palma island (Canary Islands, Spain), new evacuations have been ordered for residents in the Municipalities of Llanos de Aridanne and Tazacorte, due to the advancement of the lava flow further north-west, as reported by the Department of National Security (DSN).
  • As of 21 October, the area of nearly 810 ha has been affected by the advance of the lava flow of Cumbre la Vieja volcano.
  • On 20 October, an Inexpensive Device for Sea Level measurements (IDSL-50) was installed on the coast of Tazacorte by the Spanish National Geographic Institute (IGN), in cooperation with the Joint Research Centre (JRC). 
Spain - Volcanic activity, update (ECHO 19 Oct 2021)Tue, 19 Oct 2021 11:48

  • The eruption is ongoing in Cumbre la Vieja volcano, as the main flow of lava is running along the northern flank towards the western coast of La Palma, in an area south-west of the La Laguna mountain (south of Tazacorte).
  • According to the Department of National Security (DSN), the height of the ash and gas column reaches 4,200 metres. On 19 October, the population of El Paso has been recommended to stay indoors, while activities for two educational centres will take place on-line, as air quality might worsen due to the possibility of the lava reaching the coast of Tazacorte. 
  • According to the Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service (), which was activated on 19 September to support the damage assessment, up to 2,017 buildings have been affected by the volcanic event.
  • La Palma airport is operational, although there are delays in inter-island flights due to the volcanic ash cloud.
Spain - Volcanic activity, update (ECHO 14 Oct 2021)Thu, 14 Oct 2021 12:18

  • The vent located in the southeastern flank of Cumbre La Vieja volcano in La Palma has been reactivated while the northern lava flow is slowing down and the southern one is moving 50 metres per hour. The amount of total affected area by the lava flows reached 640,27 ha.
  • According to the Department of National Security (DSN), 800 people have been evacuated following the advance of the northern lava flow on 12 October. In addition, PEVOLCA issued other evacuation orders for some villages located in Los Llanos de Aridane Municipality.
  • National authorities are assisting those people who lost their houses and are providing desalination plants installed to supply irrigation water.
  • The Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service () was activated on 19 September to support the damage assessment and 42 maps have been produced so far.
Spain - Volcanic activity, update (ECHO 12 Oct 2021)Tue, 12 Oct 2021 12:57

  • As the effusive and explosive activity is ongoing in Cumbre la Vieja volcano, two main lava flows have been affecting the Todoque area and the industrial area of Los Lanos de Aridane.
  • The Department of National Security (DSN) reports 1,281 affected houses and a total area of 525,77 ha affected by the lava flow, including 132 ha of cropland.
Spain - Volcanic activity, update (ECHO 30 Sep 2021)Thu, 30 Sep 2021 12:03

  • The lava emitted by the Cumbre la Vieja volcano maintains a continuous flow over the sea. An intense seismic activity has been reported over the Fuencaliente Municipality area (southern La Palma).
  • According to the Department of National Security (DSN), 855 houses have been destroyed, 126 partially damaged and a total area of 476 ha affected by the lava flow.
  • The maritime exclusion and the evacuation orders for the coastal areas of San Borondón, Marina Alta, Marina Baja and La Condesa (Tazacorte Municipality) are still in effect.
Spain - Volcanic activity, update (ECHO 28 Sep 2021)Tue, 28 Sep 2021 12:41

  • The explosive and effusive activity of Cumbre la Vieja is ongoing and two lava flows are moving towards the western coast. The northern lava flow, located  800-1,000 m from the coast of Tazacorte, is the most active while the southern lava flow is slowing down. 
  • According to the Government of Canarias, 300 people living in the coastal areas of San Borondón, Marina Alta, Marina Baja and La Condesa (Tazacorte Municipality) have been evacuated. In addition, 200 people returned to their homes, while 5,600 are still evacuated.
  • A 2.5 km exclusion radius around emission centres is recommended to minimize the risk of pyroclastic impact and exposure to gases; in areas affected by intense ash fall, it is recommended to stay indoors. 
  • The General Directorate of the Merchant Navy modified the no-navigation zone one mile further north considering the increased possibility that the lava flow could reach the coast.
Spain - Volcanic eruption, update (ECHO 24 Sep 2021)Fri, 24 Sep 2021 12:33

  • Cumbre La Vieja volcano continues its explosive and effusive activity. On 23 September since 16.20 UTC (17.20 local time), a series of powerful explosions with significant ash and gas emissions have been reported by the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute (INVOLCAN).
  • The lava flow is 3800 m long and is located 2100 m from the coast and its speed has slowed down. The lava affected the area of almost 220 ha. 
  • At least 5,700 people have been evacuated across the Municipalities of Tazacorte, El Pais and Los Llanos de Aridane and 400 houses have been destroyed. 800 emergency personnel from all administrations are currently working in the field.
  • The aviation colour code has risen to red due to the eruptive column of gases and ash emitted on 23 September.
  • The Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service (EMSR546) was activated on 19 September to support the damage assessment and eight maps have been produced so far.
Spain - Volcanic eruption, update (ECHO 22 Sep 2021)Wed, 22 Sep 2021 12:07

  • The lava flow emitted by Cumbre La Vieja volcano continues slowing down in westward direction and the speed has been reduced from 700 to 10 m/h. According to PEVOLCA and Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service, the main eruptive vent is located approximately 3,6 km east of Todoque village, and the extent of the affected area has reached 154,37 ha.
  • The daily level of sulfur dioxide emitted into the atmosphere is estimated at 8,000-10,600 tons
  • According to the Spanish National Emergency Centre (CENEM), the number of evacuated people stands at 6,800 and around 200 houses have been affected as well as 200 infrastructure and 400 tourists have been relocated in Tenerife island.
  • The alert level of the volcano stands at Red (on a four-level scale from Green to Red). A 2 km exclusion radius around emission centres is recommended to minimize the risk of pyroclastic impact and exposure to gases. Furthermore, restrictions on maritime traffic are still active.
  • The Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service was activated on 19 September to support the damage assessment and four maps have been produced so far.
Spain - Volcanic eruption, update (ECHO 21 Sep 2021)Tue, 21 Sep 2021 12:01

  • The activity of the Cumbre Vieja volcano (La Palma Island, Canary Islands) is ongoing, a new eruptive vent (9 in total) has been reported 900 m from the main crater very close to the Tacande village (El Paso Municipality). The speed of the lava flow towards the western coast of La Palma is slowing down, as reported by the Government of Canary Islands. The alert level of the volcano stands at red.
  • According to the Spanish National Emergency Centre (CENEM), around 180 houses have been affected by the lava flow and six roads are still cut  across El Paso, Los Llanos de Aridane, San Andrés and Tajuya Localities.
  • The number of people evacuated has increased to more than 6,000 and school activities have been interrupted in three municipalities.
  • The Government of Canary Islands has issued an exclusion radius of two nautical miles from the coast and the area cannot be accessed for security reasons, all flights are operating normally.
  • The Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service () was activated on 19 September and produced two maps so far.
Spain - Volcanic eruption (ECHO 20 Sep 2021)Mon, 20 Sep 2021 12:45

  • The Cumbre Vieja volcano, located in southern La Palma Island (western Canary Islands), following several days of seismic activity, started erupting on 19 September at 14.15 UTC (15.15 local time). The eruption was characterized by lava fountains, lava flows and ash emissions from several eruptive vents on the western slope of Cumbre Vieja. Volcanic ash is falling in the vicinity of the volcano.
  • According to the Spanish National Centre for Emergencies, CENEM, at least 5,000 people have been evacuated (it is not unlikely that more evacuations may take place in the next hours or days, depending on the evolution of the event)  and some roads have been closed. People living in the area of Alcalá and El Paraíso have already been evacuated and the evacuation of El Paso, Los Llanos de Aridane and Tazacorte has begun, following the advance of the lava flow that has been reported across El Paso village.
  • The alert level of the volcano raised from Yellow to Red (on a four-level scale from Green to Red).
  • The Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service (EMSR546) was activated on 19 September.
Detailed event map. European Union, 2021. Map produced by EC-JRC.
The boundaries and the names shown on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the European Union.

Updates on volcanic activity (Smithsonian)

The Smithsonian/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report provides information about global volcanism on a weekly basis. Latest La Palma report has been published on 15 Sep 2021 10:47.
Instituto Volcanol?gico de Canarias (INVOLCAN) reported that a seismic swarm beneath Cumbre Vieja at the S part of La Palma began at 1618 on 11 September and was likely associated with a magmatic intrusion. The swarm intensified in number of events and magnitude, and by 1600 on 12 September a total of 315 earthquakes had been recorded and ranged 8-13 km in depth. The largest event was a M 2.8 (on the Mb_lg scale). On 13 September a scientific committee comprised of representatives from multiple agencies and institutions raised the Alert Level to Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-color scale) for the municipalities of El Paso, Los Llanos de Aridane, Mazo, and Fuencaliente de la Palma. By 0800 on 14 September 2,935 earthquakes had been detected. Larger events were felt by residents during 13-14 September; the largest earthquake was a M 3.9, recorded at 0600 on 14 September. Overall, the events were becoming shallower (8-10 km) and hypocenters migrated slightly to the W. GPS and tiltmeter networks showed deformation totaling 1.5 cm centered over the clusters of epicenters. INVOLCAN noted that 10 seismic swarms have been detected at La Palma since 2017; one in 2017, one in 2018, five in 2020, and three in 2021. The earthquakes in the previous swarms were deeper, between 20 and 30 km, and were less intense than the current swarm. Sources: Gobierno de Canarias,Instituto Volcanol?gico de Canarias (INVOLCAN)
See the detail here

Latest media headlines

Articles: 9109 | About casualties: 9 | Last hour: 0

00:00 El nuevo foco eruptivo del volcán de La Palma forma un segundo c ... 2021-11-30T02:48+0100.

La nueva colada creada por el segundo cráter del volcán. | | E.D. Un kilómetro y medio separa este frente del barrio que ya el pasado mes de octubre vio como el magma solidificado arrampló con gran parte de sus principales edificios : el co
...(more)
El nuevo foco eruptivo forma un segundo cráter con más actividad2021-11-30T02:34+0100.

La nueva colada creada por el segundo cráter del volcán. | | E.D. Un kilómetro y medio separa este frente del barrio que ya el pasado mes de octubre vio como el magma solidificado arrampló con gran parte de sus principales edificios: el col
...(more)
Volcán La Palma2021-11-30T01:04+0100.

El monitoreo en la zona del volcán afecta a 1.147 hectáreas y 2.748 edificaciones. Copernicus ha actualizado el monitoreo de la zona del volcán de La Palma, cuya lava ha cubierto desde que comenzó la erupción el 19 de septiembre un total de
...(more)
Cumbre Vieja. El volcán de La Palma se acerca al récord histórico de d ... 2021-11-29T21:31+0100.

El volcán de La Palma se acerca al récord histórico de días en erupción Los volcanes han estado documentados a lo largo de la historia, hecho que ha permitido saber muchos detalles. La erupción de un volcán fascina a todo el mundo. Ríos de
...(more)

Estimated casualties (PAGER)

USGS estimates the number of casualties for each earthquake for the Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER) product.
The graph shows the current fatalities estimate.

Exposed population

Data, images, links, services and documents

For this events, GDACS has links to information from the following sources: EMSR (2), EC-JRC (31), (1), INGV (2), WMO (1), INFORM (2),