The island of La Palma it is an island of volcanic origin, that is to say, it exists because it arose after an eruption of an underwater volcano located 4000 meters below sea level. We are, therefore, in an area conducive to volcanic eruptions.

It is also the one with the highest number of historical eruptions (registered and documented): the National Geographic Institute (IGN) has registered 16 episodes so far of eruptions that have occurred in Spain since the 15th century in the Canary Islands.


The longest eruptions

In the world there are about 1,500 active volcanoes pbut only about 20 are actively erupting. The Cumbre Vieja volcano, on La Palma, had been asleep for half a century and it was this Sunday when it woke up. The historical volcanism in La Palma began in 1585. In this year the eruption of the Tahuya took place, characterized by the appearance of huge blocks named Agujas de los Roques de Jedey.

The lava flow caused by the eruption of the volcano on the island of La Palma has an average height of six meters, has so far emitted between 6,000 and 9,000 tons of sulfur dioxide per day and advances at 700 meters per hour.

However, despite the spectacular nature of the data and images, there are still victims, as is usual in this area: there is only one exception in the eruption of Teneguía, the only Canarian volcano with victims: a person died from the inhalation of toxic gases from getting too close. In the world, on average, about 540 people a year are the victims of volcanic eruptions. Between 1,500 and 2017, more than 278,000 people. These are the data that emerge from a study carried out by researchers at the University of Bristol.

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Throughout history there have been eruptions that have lasted from five days (Siete Fuentes, in Tenerife, 1704), up to 2,055 days in Timanfaya, in Lanzarote. That of El Hierro lasted from October 10, 2011 to March 5, 2012 (147 days) and that of Teneguía from 1971 (24 days), and it had twice as much magma as today. Here is a table of all the eruptions recorded:

YEAR

ISLAND

DENOMINATION

Between 1470 and 1492

The Palm

Tacante or Burnt Mountain

1492

Tenerife

Eruption of the Tahuya (Roques de Jedey)

1585

The Palm

Eruption of the Tahuya (Roques de Jedey)

1646

The Palm

Tagalate or Martín volcano

1677-78

The Palm

San Antonio Volcano

1704-05

Tenerife

Siete Fuente, Fasnia and Arafo Volcano

1706

Tenerife

Eruption of El Charco (Lajiones Mountain)

1730-36

Lanzarote

Timanfaya eruption

1793

The iron

Lomo Negro Volcano (NW of the Gulf)

1798

Tenerife

Pico Viejo or Chahorra Volcano (Narices del Teide)

1824

Lanzarote

Tao, Nuevo del Fuego and Tinguatón volcanoes

1909

Tenerife

Chinyero volcano

1949

The Palm

Volcanoes Hoyo Negro, Duraznero, Llano del Banco

1971

The Palm

Teneguía volcano

2011

The iron

Phreatomagmatic eruption, south of La Restinga