by Peter Paget for VT
Some very a few years ago I issued a warning about the ongoing dangers of the disaster that could come from La Palma and the probability of a new eruption. I was criticized by various trolls as there, (according to them) was no evidence to support my warnings.
So who is still saying that today with the volcano blowing its top and within the last 24 hours, as of 1st Oct. 2021, opened yet another lava emitting vent, now the sixth (not just three as the local Spanish officials would have you believe)?
These are the same officials who are still encouraging tourists to come to La Palma and declare there is no danger and the “air inland is clean”, quote, unquote, when in fact acid laden air and SO2 are now venting more than ever, so far over 85,000 tons and that as a gas is a great deal of toxic material injurious to lungs and eyes.
by Dr. Peter Paget
So now from the horse’s mouth, the situation today. Within the last 24 hours, three further significant earthquakes have been registered at the same depth as just before the eruption commenced by a day or two.
This means more magma is flowing into the magma chamber nearer the surface and will vent within the near future, a few days. Volcanos pulse, so a temporary decline in emissions does not mean the eruption is abating, it is just the way they operate.
The geologist has already stated they expect an ongoing situation for 84 days at least and that is a tremendous amount and weight of material both as lava and ash deposits landing on the flanks of the mountain along which the potential landslide fault runs. When would it reach a tipping point?
A number of factors apply. The cones are buttressed by vertical basalt walls from previous eruptions and contain reservoirs of water naturally, plus with the lava now having reached the seashore pressurized gases could be uplifting through the old lava tunnels and the conduction of the lava and tremendous heat (over 1000 c) is moving along the fissures and spreading laterally along the mountain ridge.
This steam, superheated water, and white-hot lava will be lubricating the fissures and break down the frictional adhesion to the cone. This is critical because if she blows, I should say when she blows, the descent into the ocean takes but little more than ten minutes and reaches speeds of in the region of 200 mph downhill and then travels out some 30 odd miles underwater and down to over 4000 ft deep.
This would produce a massive amount of kinetic energy in the water, a mega-tsunami, and would obliterate the islands nearby in terms of collateral damage. Their warning time to impact from such an event is well under 30 minutes, no time to evacuate, perhaps you could get airborne if you had a plane on stand by, but ash contamination could well cause the engines to fail and flame out.
No time to be a tourist in that neck of the woods, or indeed within a great distance of the islands as the wavefronts extend through the waters at several hundred miles an hour, passing its energy from one water particle to another and uplifting to a crest as the wavefronts hit the bottom of a shelving sea floor and rise up to around 100 ft.
At sea you would only notice a BIG long swell, but no crest, so in shipping terms, you ‘Set to Sea’ at maximum speed and get into as much deep water as you can gain, head into the advancing wave at half speed (12 to 18 knots) with the front anchors deployed by near the maximum chain length – recognized maritime procedure before, having, of course, closed all the bulkhead doors and battened down the hatches.
Most ships would survive such an onslaught, unless near the shoreline and then would likely flounder. My family has a lot of maritime experience I assure you.
There is another key factor in the risk assessment of when the fissures will fail and drop possibly a third of the island mass into the water; that is the cyclical nature of magma chamber functions as in Hawaii where the magma will flow in, uplift, and erupt but then reduce and allow the landmass to sink a little as the magma chamber ceiling can collapse as the pressure reduces.
This takes about 18 months as a cycle so the idea that when the outflow eruption stops we can all breathe a sigh of relief is flawed as the second causation danger from this situation could be around March 2023 if the island does not fracture before then from all the factors as above mentioned.
It is like sitting on a time bomb and not knowing when the fuse will function, like in a booby trap bomb in the WWII when some German bombs were designed to drop and not explode at once but targeted bomb disposal teams (My father in Law was the front line in that Disposal Department)
In the UK wavefronts are likely only to be some 16 to 22 feet high, but remember we are dealing with a Tsunami where the water just comes and comes as you saw in the Japan disaster, so you get flooding, and then the drawback laden with debris, cars, trees, etc.
In the Americas, the whole of the Eastern sea board, the wavefronts could be much higher as the island fracture is likely to energize to the West, the Island of La Palma itself partially protecting Europe, and Florida (the Southern portion) could be completely overrun with floods.
You see why no warnings are intended ‘officially’ to the population as the panic and mayhem would be as bad as the consequences. You might want to purchase an ex merchant ship lifeboat (those fully covered orange ones) and have it in your back yard, pointing East, I jest not, they cost about $4000 each ex redundant and are available online, delivery costs extra. Get it equipped and stocked with water & food.
Sorry to be pragmatic but for much of my ‘official life’ I was paid to think through the unthinkable and offer solutions to governments or those who would listen and could afford to prepare themselves accordingly – why do you think the great and the good have been buying ‘expedition super yachts’ – those are the ones, not just gin palaces but designed to withstand really bad weather.
Talking of whether one has to mention Worldwide a lot of volcanos are blowing and this puts a lot of dust, fine ash, gases, and junk into the upper atmosphere this historically has caused poor harvests for a couple of years after such eruptions, so expect to see food prices rise as shortages kick in.
We are already seeing them in the UK and it looks like the serious business chiefs are creating shortages and driving up prices already. As one American Banker said to me a while ago, “Never let a good crisis go to waste”.
So there you have it folks – I stand by my warnings of a few years ago and say prepare for the worst and hope for the best, but don’t continue in a bubble of fluffy pink optimism and denial. These are times of ‘Tribulation’ and they usually come in threes, not just one.
May Your God go with you.
All are sourced from authentic and cross-referenced data. Peter Paget is the author of “Secret Life Of A Spook” and other works over the last forty-two years and was a Temporary Special Advisor (SPAD) to HMG (UK) and is acknowledged at MEDies for Ocean Ecology Research.