This week the volcano in El Hierro has been erupting but not as we, mere mortals, had thought an eruption would occur, at least not the way I thought it would occur. I imagined it would be tons of orange and black lava sliding down the side of the mountains engulfing forests, towns and probably humans as it went. The volcano top spitting out globules of bright red rocks for miles about and expansive dust clouds that would close all air traffic for hundreds of miles around, as it did with Iceland.
It seems not, the volcano has actually kind of “leaked”, that’s my word for it not from any volcanologist’s mouth. Although I am very pleased for the inhabitants of the island that it has gone this way, it seems to be all ado about nothing although I’m sure that if I lived there I wouldn’t be as calm about it as I am sitting here in Tenerife…!!! The security departments of the Canaraian Government took all necessary precautions by moving local residents up the mountains, where they camped in their cars, the Local Police and National Police had everything in hand and the Guardia Civil were happily stopping traffic from coming into the area of La Restinga, the town closest to the eruption. We knew from previous reports a tunnel had to be closed because it looked as though it was going to be dangerous to drive through it, that now appears to be open and traffic has been allowed to drive through under cautious supervision. The towns’ people have been allowed to return to their homes to collect items that were left there in the rush to leave, such as medicines, and it now seems that it is all under control for the moment.
The actual eruption took place 5 KM from the shoreline of La Restinga and about 2 KM down, steam, bubbles and lava have been seen coming to the surface all week, along with a number of dead fish. There has been some disruption to air traffic, they have been diverted around the area by 5 KM I believe, just in case. There was some concern that the eruption and lava was going to work its way back into the centre of the island itself and that would have caused much more damage, but it seems for the moment that it is staying out to sea. The area of La Restinga is still under red alert and the rest of the island is on yellow alert, one step down from red. A video of the underwater eruption can be found here on this Spanish webpage about half way down if you’d like to see what we see here on the news about it.
There has been a report that if the lava continues in this way, the volcanologists feel that another island will be formed, that’ll be nice, another one to add to our collection.
If anything else happens, I’ll be blogging about it, so keep tuned in.