There is some good news and then not so good news. First, the good news. Sunspot #1302 has quieted down again. There has been some minor geomagnetic storming and one 1.7 X flare, but otherwise the surface remains quiet. The concern remains high, though, because #1302 is still a very big sunspot and it is now directly facing earth.
The not so good news is that the quake swarming on the Canary Island of El Hierro continues and evacuations have begun. This is not good folks.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain – More than 300 people have been evacuated from their homes on the Spanish Canary Island of El Hierro because of recurrent earthquakes, local officials said Wednesday.
El Hierro on the youngest island in the Canaries, which are offshore from Spain, and now scientists are concerned that the long dormant volcano will soon erupt.
El Hierro has been rocked by 8 thousand earthquakes since July 19, caused by magma pressing towards the Earth’s surface, also raising concerns about a volcanic eruption on the island that has one large volcano and about 250 craters.
Some 50,000 to 130,000 years ago a volcano in the Canaries collapsed into the Atlantic Ocean and created a tsunami 300 feet high that raced across the sea in all directions including the east coast of North America. Can you imagine a wall of water 30 stories high slamming into New York, or Washington D.C. or Florida. The loss of life would be monumental.
The island’s most important road tunnel was also closed, and hundreds of school children stayed home. The vast majority of the quakes have been too weak to be noticed by residents, but they have been increasing in frequency and intensity. More than 100 tremors were registered on Tuesday, with the strongest of magnitude 3.8. Dozens more quakes followed Wednesday.
El Hierro has not erupted since 1793. If an eruption does occur, it would not be necessary to evacuate all of the island’s 10,000 residents, the daily El Pais quoted Canaries security chief Juan Manuel Santana as saying.
Security officials were working on several possible evacuation scenarios, one of which foresees the evacuation of 4,000 people within four hours. Meetings were being held all over the island to inform residents about how to proceed in case of an eruption.
We will continue to closely monitor this developing situation.