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Category: Newsflash

La Palma was rocked by more than 40 seismic movements of low magnitude and intensity between 1.5 and 2.7 on the Richter scale, according to the data of the National Geographic Institute.

The biggest earthquake, recorded at around 1pm on Saturday, had a magnitude of 2.7 and took place in the area of the Natural Park Cumbre Vieja, 28 kilometres deep. 

The second largest quake, of 2.6, took place at 1.23pm on Sunday in the same area, while the third quake erupted at midnight on Monday, reaching a magnitude of 2.1, according to the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcan).

The earthquakes have sparked panic across the Canary Islands, with volcano experts pulled in to examine the unusual seismic activity. 

María José Blanco, director of the National Geographic Institute in the Canary Islands, said the island has "never recorded a similar swarm" and although the energy levels are low and very deep, it is different from the seismic activity they have recorded so far. 

The Ministry of Territorial Policy, Sustainability and Security of the Government of the Canary Islands, respecting the Special Plan for Civil Protection and Emergency Care for Volcanic Hazards, will meet with the Scientific Committee of Evaluation and Monitoring of Volcanic Phenomena, to evaluate the data obtained from monitoring stations on the island.

A scientific team of five will also visit La Palma to keep track of the tremors in situ.

Ms Blanco said the team will start to increase the number of seismic stations in the volcanic monitoring network in a bid to develop the geochemical measurements usually carried out in the island of La Palma. 

So far, the earthquakes have not been felt by residents because they are occurring at a great depth.

The last significant seismic activity in the archipelago took place in 2011 on the island of El Hierro, which finally led to the eruption of an underwater volcano in the southeast of the island.

The eruption was followed by more than 7,500 earthquakes, which lasted for three months.

La Palma is a volcanic ocean island, which rises almost 7km above the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. There is road access from sea level to the summit at 2,426metres, which is marked by rocks called Los Muchachos. 

La Palma

A scientific team will visit La Palma to keep track on the tremors

It was originally formed as a seamount through submarine volcanic activity and is currently, along with Tenerife, the most volcanically active of the Canary Islands. 

The island is composed of two large volcanic centres. 

The northern part of La Palma is dominated by the older Taburiente, with a width of 9 km and a depth of 1,500 metres and is surrounded by a ring of mountains ranging from 1,600m to 2,400m in height.

Around a half a million years ago, the Taburiente volcano collapsed with a giant landslide, forming the Caldera de Taburiente.

But the younger 1949-metre-high Cumbre Vieja, the southern volcano, is one of the most active in the Canaries. 

Category: Newsflash

RESIDENTS of a nearby volcano in Guatemala have been left terrified after it exploded ash 5,000 metres into the air during 12 small eruptions in the space of an hour.

The Fuego Volcano in south Guatemala burst into life on Wednesday plumes of ash blew into the sky in what has been described as on of “the largest recorded eruptions” in the volcano's history.

The volcano, known locally as Volcan de Fuego, which translates as ‘Volcano of Fire’, is an extremely active volcano, and this is the seventh time this year that it has erupted.

Guatemala’s National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology (Insivumeh) stated that ash has been spread 20 kilometres in east and northeast directions.

Authorities have also warned that ash could spread all the way to Guatemala City, the capital of Guatemala, some 50 kilometres northwards of the volcano.

Insivumeh warned that "in the eruptive behaviour of the volcano and the variability of the wind, experts do not rule out the possibility that this activity will continue to make ash fall at greater distances”.

Guatemala’s Volcano Observatory added: "These explosions are of a weak, moderate and strong character, expel columns of grey ash at a height of 4400-5,000m (14435-16,405ft) and are driven by wind at distances ranging from 16-20km to the east, northeast”.

volcano of fire

GETTY

This is the seventh time this year the volcano has erupted

Authorities have also alerted aviation bosses to warn them about the plumes of ash which could cause travel chaos.

The Civil Aeronautics said: "This is one of the largest recorded eruptions of the volcano of Fuego, so it is not appropriate to ascend to any flank of the volcano of Fuego.” 

The 3,800 metre tall Volcan de Fuego is one of South America’s most active volcanos, which is some feat as the continent is dotted with them and over 30 in Guatemala alone.

This is the seventh eruption of the year, but experts say that this is no cause for concern as it has been blowing regularly since the Spanish conquest.

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