El Hierro Officials Concerned Over Island 'Bulge'

HOLLY NOTE: This article was interpreted by Google translator so some of the language sounds a little stilted, but you'll get the gist.

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October 10, 2011
El Mundo

Seismic observation services have seen a submarine eruption at 1,000 meters deep in the sea and five miles from the island of El Hierro.

The phenomenon is ongoing and began early this morning off the south coast, in La Restinga. The eruption has been a sudden change in the seismic process, as it has paralyzed for weeks tremors felt in the Canary Islands, as reported by experts to Canary Autonomic Radio.

Photo: The AH-1 highway towards the tunnel in Los Roquille closed to traffic on Sunday.

The Director General of Security and Emergency of the Canary Islands, Juan Manuel Santana, has informed press conference gases were detected at 600 meters below the sea. With these clues, Santana suggests that an eruption will occur, which would be underwater and not cause danger to the public.

Gas emissions or lava

Scientists have detected a change in the type of waves, which could be due to the deep sea are occurring gas emissions and even lava, according to Santana.

The president of the Cabildo de El Hierro, Alpidio Armas, has said that the eruption "is underway," though not known in what stage is, if the gas release or has passed to a second phase which also being ejected magma.

However, he stressed the message of peace to ensure that the eruption is in itself a story "excellent" and that means that the stored energy is removed during this time.

According to the president island, the islanders are not going to feel the rash, due also to its distance from the coast of La Restinga, in the municipality of El Pinar.

While it was originally prohibited from fishing and diving, the authorities allow the fishermen go to sea, except at the epicenter of the eruption. Also, divers "can also be quiet" and practice this activity, according to Arms.

'Ballooning' of the island

Officials will meet again in the afternoon with officials from the emergency services for more information about the 'bulge' that has occurred on the island, a parameter that is deemed essential to know the evolution of the process.

The Minister of Safety and Emergency Cabildo de El Hierro, Maria del Carmen Morales, said that scientists need to assess the 'bulge' and check the pressure decreases, in which case the seismicity is lower during the following hours.

The first since 1971

Confirmed that the submarine eruption continues, would be the first on record in Spain since 1971, when it emerged Teneguía volcano on the island of La Palma, Canary Islands too.

A submarine eruption has added a 2.9 magnitude earthquake centered in the area of La Restinga, in the town of Frontera. The quake occurred at 9.58 hours with a depth of 15 kilometers and lasted only five seconds.

Alicia Garcia, coordinator of the team of volcanologists from the CSIC in El Hierro, said that while the underwater eruption remains at that distance and depth, "we will not find out anything."

Only notice something on the surface if there were any other rash mouth closer to the coast. Then, "could be an explosion and some material," he added.

Earthquake of 4.3

El Hierro has suffered since mid-July around 9600 s seismic activity caused by underground magma of the island.

Just today the eruption takes place two days after he recorded an earthquake measuring 4.3 degrees on the Richter scale. This figure made him the most intense earthquake recorded by the National Geographic Institute (IGN) since last July 17, when earthquakes began on the island.

The earthquake, which was felt throughout the island, caused no injury, but caused landslides on the outer slopes of the tunnels and on the road Roquille linking Tacorón to La Restinga, in the southern municipality of El Pinar.

Experts say the submarine eruption of today is the result of a crack caused by the earthquake itself Saturday.

In the first week of October, the IGN has located 890 earthquakes, most of them situated in the sea, southwest of the island.

Yellow alert

The situation remains yellow alert, so that the sequence of earthquakes senses falls within the normal range.

From the July 17 IGN has registered and located nearly 10,000 earthquakes, with epicenters both north and south of the NW ridge and depths between 10 and 15 km. The number of events felt by the population is 133, with intensities II, III and IV in the scale EMS 98.