WorldBefore and after the catastrophic eruption of the La Palma volcano

Before and after the catastrophic eruption of the La Palma volcano

La Palma before and after the volcano’s lava eruptionCabildo de la Palma / Cabildo de la Palma

The lava tongue of the Cabeza de Vaca canary volcano, transformed into a steamroller up to 12 meters high that moves forward without stopping at the speed of a snail, has already destroyed about 400 buildings, according to data published this Friday by Copernicus, the Program of Earth Observation of the European Union. The city council of La Palma offered impressive images from before and after the eruption. The comparison allows us to assess the true magnitude of the disaster.

The pre-eruption image, provided by multinational geographic information company Esri, was acquired in 2020 by a satellite. The current photograph, with the houses already washed by lava, was captured on Thursday by a drone. The lava already occupies more than 180 hectares, 14 more than just 11 hours earlier, according to the latest data from Copernicus. The European service estimates that the lava has already destroyed 14 kilometers of roads.

It’s a slow-motion catastrophe. The tongue front traveled 463 meters in 17 hours. Its speed barely exceeds 27 meters per hour. Hundreds of neighbors followed as they lost everything, inch by inch. In addition, this Friday, the Government of the Canary Islands warned of the “intensification of the explosive phenomenon”, with the increase in solid materials released by the volcano.