There has certainly been a lot of chatter about volcanos as of late, and much of the talk is coming from experts. Sadly, those experts are often ignored and that is never a wise decision to make. When this was done in Japan, the ignoring of earthquake experts caused a disaster that may still lead to an extinction event.
The alarm is certainly sounding for anyone willing to heed its warning. The Independent reports that “volcanologists on the Canary Islands have been asked to work out whether the island of La Palma” is about to blow it’s top. The findings are quite unsettling thus far, to say the least. This event is set to explode, according to some of the best minds in the field.
The experts were called in because the tiny area has endured “400 tremors in 15 hours over the weekend,” according to the Express. Tenerife, Cumbre Vieja (translated as “the Old Summit“) displayed it’s awesome power in 1949 and again in 1971 with eruptions that still haunt the locals.
Conditions prior to those eruptions were quite similar to what is being seen now and fears of a resulting earthquake and devastating tidal wave are also factors to be concerned about.
In order to do a complete and thorough job, “a special hydrogeochemical monitoring programme” has been established to better monitor the mountain. Those studying the hard to predict volcano are looking at “samples of subterranean waters and PH levels, conductivity, temperature and dissolved gas activity three times a week at four locations in Cumbre Vieja,” reports say.
On top of this, a group from the National Geographic Institute (IGN) are monitoring the monster around the clock, nonstop.
So far, the movements have shown activity “ranging between 1.5 and 2.7 on the Richter scale and up to 17.4 miles underground.” This led Iain Stewart, Professor of Geoscience Communication at the University of Plymouth to say, “The possibility of a catastrophic collapse of the volcano is a really controversial issue amongst geologists. There has certainly been large chunks of the volcanic island that have detached in the distant past, presumably associated with volcanic activity.”
Stewart is quick to caution making it too worrisome by adding, “But there’s no evidence that this has happened in the last 10,000 years, and no signs that the collapse was so big and sudden that it produced huge tsunamis. It is theoretically possible, but most geologists think that smaller more localized collapses of the steep sides is more likely.”
This hardly means the islands are free and clear, however. The Plymouth man also said, “This could generate local tsunamis with destructive waves a few metres high, but what we call transoceanic tsunamis are unlikely.”
Just how “unlikely” is what the team is aiming to discover. As active as the Earth has been, not too many people are very secure with the odds, that is for sure.