Jan. 9, 2019– Mary Greeley News – CUMBRE VIEJA is an active but dormant volcano ridge on the island of La Palma on the Canary Island and recent activity could suggest the volcano could blow anytime. Could 2019 be the year Cumbre Vieja blow? What could happen if it did?
Last year saw volcanoes including Kilauea in Hawaii and Anak Krakatoa in Indonesia erupt, killing hundreds of people. These volcanoes are located thousands of miles away from the British Isles but the next mountain to blow may be closer to home. Cumbre Vieja located in the popular Spanish tourist destination of the Canary Islands would have catastrophic consequences if it were to blow.
Cumbre Vieja has erupted twice in the last 70 years, first in 1949 and then again in 1971.
Over the past couple of years, more than a thousand tremors have been recorded from the Spanish volcano, suggesting it could blow anytime.
A total of 928 of these happened in just one week in February 2018.
What would happen if Cumbre Vieja erupt?
If Cumbre Vieja erupts, it could create a massive landslide on the western half of the island and further create a gigantic tsunami more dangerous than the one seen in Indonesia on December 22.
The tsunami could travel thousands of miles and wash out coastal areas of Britain and even parts of the eastern seaboard of America.
According to Professor Stephen Sparks, a volcanologist at Bristol University, the Cumbre Viaja volcano could send a life-threatening wave to batter Britain’s coastal towns.
He said: “As a tsunami travels along narrow channels, like the one we have here in Bristol, it amplifies. The water has to move up.
“We have quite an unusual terrain here in Bristol which is why we get such a high tidal range.
“Eruptions like this occur over a long time.
“Eruptions where big pieces of islands fall into the ocean are rare although we know it has happened in the past.
However, seismologists believe the risk is extremely low and Prof Sparks added the event is highly unlikely in this century, because eruptions occur over a long period of time.
He added: ”People don’t need to be too worried.
“When you have volcanic islands sticking out of the sea, they’re very unstable. And, in some cases, you can get gigantic landslides when part of the island essentially collapses into the sea.
“You can get tsunamis from that and they’re quite significant.
“For neighboring islands they could be enormous.”