As we continue the monitor the situation in La Palma, What really struck us this morning is that USGS is not even showing ANY activity in the Canary Islands. We witnessed this the last time El Heirro was grumbling, NOTHING from USGS. Here is the latest screenshot from the USGS EQ site, and as you will notice, even though they are supposed to be reporting and showing every quake over 2.5M, there are NO quakes showing in the Canary Islands.
UPDATE- El Heirro – March 25, 2013 – 10:00PST
The activity continues and is growing in both magnitude and frequency of harmonic quakes. You can monitor the situation closely at El Heirro Monitoring. The likelihood of a new submarine eruption in the near future is increasing. Earthquakes and pulsating strong tremor continued with little changes, indicators of magma intruding into new dikes in the western rift zone. There is also a trend towards stronger quakes (about 20 magnitude 3+ events including a M4 this morning) and shallower earthquakes (many at around 11-12 km depth today). This suggests that magma is slowly breaking pathways upwards, i.e. towards the seafloor. The area has remained about 5 km off shore NW from the western tip of the island, ie. under the submarine prolongation of the volcano’s western rift zone. This is where now a new eruption should be expected, if the magma does not decide to migrate laterally once again.
So keep close watch if you are on the East Coast. We have received questions about “how bad would it be if the worst case scenario would unfold. Our best guess, and it is a guess, is that a tsunami of 150’ could impact the east coast, with Florida and Georgia feeling the greatest impacts. So to answer the question of where do you go and when, getting to elevations above 500’ ASL should minimize the danger. If the western face of El Heirro would suddenly calve as a part of an eruption, East Coasters may have 8 hours to act. The real concern we have is how fast MSM would report such an event, which could lose precious evacuation time, and at what time the event would occur. For example, if the eruption occurred at 12 AM or very early morning, people may simply not be aware the event occurred.
The situation remains Yellow, keep close watch. You can also monitor real time EQ activity here, since USGS chooses not to even consider the danger.
More as we get it.