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: 07 Dec 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: 25 Nov 2021 09:53 UTC

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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.
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, 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 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 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 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 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 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.
Volcano La Palma - Copernicus EMS activation (EMSR546)Sun, 19 Sep 2021 20:01

EMSR546: Copernicus Emergency Management Service has been activated
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 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 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 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.
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 24 Nov 2021 06:53.
The eruption at La Palma continued during 17-23 November, characterized by Strombolian explosions and lava fountaining/jetting from multiple vents, advancing and sometimes branching lava flows, and daily ash emissions. Eruption details are based on official sources including daily PEVOLCA (Plan de Emergencias Volc?nicas de Canarias) steering committee summaries. Volcanic tremor levels increased during 16-17 November then returned to low levels. Seismicity persisted at variable but elevated levels, with earthquake locations distributed at depths of 10-15 km and 30-40 km. The number of located earthquakes peaked at 230 during 17-18 November, which was the highest daily total recorded since the beginning of the eruption. Additionally, a M 5.1 earthquake was detected at 0208 on 19 November at a depth of 36 km; this event was the largest earthquake recorded since the swarm heralding the magmatic intrusion began on 11 September. Dozens of events were felt by residents during the week. Several vents in the main cone continued to effuse lava, eject tephra, and emit ash-and-gas plumes at varying intensities. Lava was transported W through pre-existing lava channels and tubes or descended over older flows and over new ground, increasing the area of the flow field, which was made up of overlapping flows numbered 1-11. Flows 1, 2, and 9 had merged and contributed lava to the main delta, which had grown more than 0.43 square kilometers by 23 November. In the evening of 18 November lava overflowed one of the craters in the main cone and increased the lava-flow rate; crater overflows were again visible on 21 November. Lava filled in some gaps between the N flows, numbers 4 and 7. During 17-18 November flow 5 advanced along the N base of Monta?a de Todoque and along the S edge of flow 4 which had also advanced and widened. By 21 November flow 4 had merged with flow 7, the branch to the N. Flow 7 advanced W and by 1303 on 22 November lava reached the sea at La Vi?a Beach. Plumes ranging from white to dark gray rising from the new ocean entry prompted an air quality warning to be issued for about 3,000 people living in areas of San Borond?n, Tazacorte, El Card?n, and Camino Los Palomares, all within about a 2 km radius to the N and NE. A ban on maritime activities near the entry also went into effect, though it was lifted the next morning. By 23 November the width of the flow field had grown to 3.3 km and lava covered an estimated 10.73 square kilometers. Sulfur dioxide emissions fluctuated at high levels between 900 and 32,000 tons per day, remaining at levels lower than the peak values of 50,000 tons per day recorded on 23 September. Suspended ash and high concentrations of volcanic gases triggered a few air-quality alerts mostly affecting the W part of the island; authorities warned residents of some affected areas (Los Llanos de Aridane, Tazacorte, El Paso, Puntagorda, and Tijarafe in particular) to stay indoors. High values of volcanic gases led to the evacuation of essential personnel working in plants in the exclusion zone during 16-17 November. After a lull in activity for a period of time on 17 November, Strombolian activity and ash emissions resumed later in the day and prompted a VONA the next day. Video posted at 1615 on 18 November showed jetting lava and billowing ash plumes containing some lightning flashes. Sometimes dense and billowing ash-and-gas plumes rose 2-3.7 km (6,600-12,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE, E, ESE, and SW during the rest of the week. The 20 November PEVOLCA reported that the total volume of emitted tephra during the eruption had surpassed 10 million cubic meters. Ash deposits on runways and unfavorable flying conditions disrupted flights at La Palma airport during 21-23 November. Sources: Aena,Gobierno de Canaries ,Instituto Geogr?fico Nacional (IGN),Instituto Volcanol?gico de Canarias (INVOLCAN)
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Latest media headlines

Articles: 9249 | About casualties: 9 | Last hour: 0

80 días a ciegas frente al volcán: "Lo mismo se para hoy... que sigue ... 2021-12-08T03:18+0100.

El volcán de Cumbre Vieja está a sólo cuatro días de los 84 que duró, en 1585, el de Tehuya, el más largo que se conoce en La Palma. No será la primera vez que sorprenda a los científicos Campo de fútbol cubierto de ceniza, el lunes en L
...(more)
El alumnado del Valle de Aridane pide una EBAU «adaptada» a la erupció ... 2021-12-08T02:27+0100.

Un centenar de jóvenes gritó consignas referidas a la consejera regional de Educación, Manuela Armas, y el presidente del Cabildo palmero, Mariano Hernández Zapata, durante un recorrido que les llevó desde la Plaza de España capitalina hast
...(more)
Volcán de La Palma: Última hora en DIRECTO2021-12-07T23:56+0100.

Las coladas del volcán de La Palma rellenan ya una altura de 30 metros bajo el mar. Las coladas avanzan por tierra y por mar. Los científicos del buque Ángeles Alvariño han realizado una batimetría estudio de las profundidades marinas del l
...(more)
Eruzione Canarie: in 36 ore distrutte 60 costruzioni2021-12-07T23:44+0100.

(ANSA) - MADRID, 07 DIC - La lava espulsa dal vulcano Cumbre Vieja sull'isola spagnola di La Palma, nelle Canarie, ha distrutto in 36 ore circa 60 costruzioni fino a quel momento risparmiate. Lo hanno reso noto i responsabili del piano d'em
...(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),