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The Intensifying Wrath of La Palma’s Volcano

Updated: Nov 10, 2021

Shreya Sehrawat, Grade 12

The Canary Islands form an area of high volcanic activity, so the inhabitants of the islands are no strangers to disaster. One such island, La Palma, is currently facing a volcanic eruption. It is the first to occur after 50 years.

Over 5,000 citizens were ordered to evacuate before the initial eruption and subsequent earthquake on the morning of September 19, 2021. Fortunately, no casualties have been reported; however, the volcano has caused a wave of molten rock to head towards the Atlantic Ocean. Why is this a concern? On its way, it is destroying everything in its path,

including hundreds of civilian homes. However, this isn’t the worst of it. Direct impact with water can result in devastating explosions, clouds of toxic gas, and potentially a tsunami. Residents have been warned about this, and are currently following a stay-at-home order.

Ash buildup and giant clouds of smoke are responsible for low visibility in La Palma and surrounding areas. It is unknown how long it will remain, however, experts speculate that the volcano itself will continue erupting for several more days, even months. This isn’t the first time the Canary Islands have dealt with a volcanic eruption, and it certainly won’t be the last.

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