Gwynne Dyer
3 minute read
11 Oct 2021
5:10 am

La Palma eruption – Volcanoes, tsunamis and risk

Gwynne Dyer

With 47 ‘super-eruptions’ in the world’s history, brace yourself for life-altering consequences. because no one knows when the next one might hit.

This handout photograph taken and released by the Spanish Military Emergency Unit (UME) on October 9, 2021 shows the lava flow produced by the Cumbre Vieja volcano, in the northern area of the Canary island of La Palma on the night of October 8. (Photo by Luismi Ortiz / various sources / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / LUISMI ORTIZ / SPANISH MILITARY EMERGENCY UNIT (UME)" - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

Don’t bother your pretty head about it” is the prevailing media take on the risk of the volcanic eruption on La Palma in the Canary Islands turning into a mega-tsunami disaster. The media definitely over-hyped that risk when it was first suggested 20 years ago, so now they have to work the other side of the street. But the original story still has legs. The eruption is now more than two weeks old, but the explosions and lava flows are still increasing. Part of the main cone of Cumbre Vieja (“old summit”) collapsed last weekend. La Palma and its neighbour,...