Will volcano eruption cause tsunami in Brazil? No, but it's worth the warning. Understand!

Since the last one 15 September, seismic activities in the region of the active volcano Cumbre Vieja, located on the island of La Palma, off the coast of the African continent, have intensified. The Special Plan for Civil Protection and Attention to Volcanic Risk Emergencies in the Canary Islands (Pevolca) raised the alert from green to yellow — the second on a four-level scale — which indicates that an eruption may occur, but not necessarily such. eruption would generate a tidal wave.

  • Explosion in the Caspian Sea was triggered by the eruption of a mud volcano; understand
  • Mount Etna erupts again; this is your 50th activity recorded in 505179
  • Three volcanoes erupt at the same time in Alaska

In a note, Pevolca even reported a decrease in seismic activity, but does not rule out that the volcano actually erupts. For this reason, the local authorities keep the yellow alert, intensifying the surveillance and monitoring tasks.

The news has been “bombed” in recent days, as, according to some experts, the eruption of Cumbre Vieja could produce a tsunami that would hit the coast of the Americas, with its greatest impact on the north and northeast coast of Brazil. But the chances of something like this happening, for now, are pretty remote.

Want to catch up on the best tech news of the day? Go and subscribe to our new channel on youtube, Canaltech News.

Every day a summary of the main news in the tech world for you!

Cumbre Vieja Activities

Asleep since 1024, Cumbre Vieja has been experiencing a increased seismic activity since 2020, which intensified in 2020. Now, the volcano starts to show signs of more strength and a possible eruption. In recent days, the level of earthquakes has reached a magnitude greater than 3.

Actualización volcánica actividad La Palma. The IGN @IGNSpain @IGN_Sismology has generated this image of the deformation of the suelo. There is an elevation of 6cm in some areas of the Southwest of the island. This process has been lived in El Hierro. It is normal in a volcanic reactivation process. pic.twitter.com/hKr0rShtpG

— Volcanes de Canarias (@VolcansCanarias) September 11, 2020

In a recent report, Pevolca reported a clear decrease in seismic activity, with remarkable intensity in depths of 6 to 8 km. This scenario may evolve rapidly in the short term — the drop in seismicity may be temporary and does not necessarily mean an interruption in the reactivation of Cumbre Vieja.

In the same note, the scientific committee highlighted no there are data to support the hypothesis of a collapse of the western flank of the Cumbre Vieja, which would produce a large tidal wave. Gradual increase in seismic activity is natural before an eruption, but this process can take a long time.

In red, the location of the Cumbre Vieja volcano (Image: Screenshot/Google Maps)

In the yellow alert state, information to local communities and measures of surveillance and monitoring of the activity seismic are intensified. In other words, residents of the region must remain aware of the volcano’s development, but without feeling of general panic. Only at the next level of alert — orange — would there be a need to initiate a preventive evacuation. On the red alert, an immediate and urgent evacuation would be necessary.

Is the Brazilian coast at risk of tsunami?

In an interview with

Canaltech, the professor of coastal geology at the Federal University of Paraná ( UFPR), Rodolfo José Ângulo, explained the real possibilities of the formation of a tidal wave due to the volcanic eruption of the Cumbre Vieja and, consequently, of a tsunami hitting Brazil. According to him, it is important to understand that, before talking about any possibility of a tsunami, the evolution of the seismic activities of the Cumbre Vieja should be monitored.

The chances of the volcano entering into eruption are high, pointed Angle; after all, he is active. But “the biggest problem is knowing at what exact moment this will happen; that’s why the yellow alert was triggered”, he added. The Cumbre Vieja can remain in activity for hours, days or weeks without necessarily erupting — or it could be that even the seismic activity drops and nothing happens.

Cumbre Vieja Volcano (Image: Reproduction/Hello Cannary Islands)

Regarding the possibility of tsunami , the professor even said it was a real possibility, as some forecasts point to the collapse of one of the sides of the volcano and this would produce a tidal wave. However, “the wave will depend on the size and volume of the material that will be able to slide into the sea”, said Angulo — which is impossible to predict. If an eruption actually happens that dumps enough material to cause a tsunami, a tsunami could indeed reach the Brazilian coast. However, as explained by the professor, there is no way to estimate the size of such a collapse, nor its impact, without the Cumbre Vieja coming into action.

In other words: everything, for now, it is mere speculation, based on minimal probabilities supported by very specific scenarios drawn from simulations. But, anyway, it’s worth the warning. For Angulo, our country could “take advantage of this moment of alert to create a committee that monitors these activities, and that works with the coastal authorities to have an evacuation program in case the event happens”.

Source: With information from the Government of Canarias

Did you like this article?

Subscribe your email on Canaltech to receive daily updates with the latest news from the world of technology.

Related Articles

Back to top button