The Earth is getting restless…

Canary Island volcano: A new island in the making?

An undersea volcano erupting just south of Spain’s Canary Islands may be the beginnings of a new island, or an extension to an existing one. For some, it’s a colourful spectacle – for others a major blow to their livelihood.

“It’s angry today. Look at it go!” says fisherman Elio Morales Rodriguez in the village of La Restinga, on the south coast of El Hierro island.

“That green patch on the water is a dead zone,” he says, looking out to sea. “It kills everything. No fishing, no dive schools, no tourists, just dead fish on the surface.”

For more than a month, the underwater volcano has been erupting three miles to the south of El Hierro, the smallest of the seven Canary Islands, about 50km (30 miles) south-west of its nearest neighbour, La Gomera, and 100km (60 miles) from the most populous of the islands – Tenerife.

From about 60m below the sea, the so-called “submarine” volcano is spewing gases and burning lava, some of which is breaking the surface of the water.

That has drawn lots of camera crews racing to the island to see what’s going on, but far fewer tourists than usual. Local journalist Barbara Belt says the islanders don’t know when all the fuss will die down and they will be able to get on with their lives again.

In the coastal village of La Restinga, many bars, restaurants, and hotels are shut, and many of the village’s residents have already left.

Tremors

Scientists say the eruption is part of the long-term volcanic evolution of the Canary Islands, which may result in a new island, or add new territory to the southern coast of El Hierro.

There is seismic activity to the north of the island too.

Source: BBC News Read more

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