A sulfur plume caused by the eruption of the Cambre Vieja volcano on the island of La Palma (Spain) has reached Morocco. But do not worry, this cloud of poisonous gas will not have any effect on our health. the explanation.
The Cambre Vieja volcano, erupting since 19 December, continues to cause damage. He is also responsible for the arrival of the poisonous cloud that covered the entire Maghreb. The cloud travels over thousands of kilometers and will reach the Iberian Peninsula, France and southern Italy in the next few hours.
Indeed, according to the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, “the cloud of ash and sulfur dioxide has already reached the African region and continues to move from south to northern Morocco, along a trajectory that will eventually cover the Iberian Peninsula”.
Estimated transport of sulfur dioxide from the eruption of #oldcome #lapalma In the next few days in Volcano @CopernicusECMWF Atmosphere Monitoring Service @ECMWF Forecast conceived by initial 20 September 12 UTC @windycom https://t.co/YodDe37PUy #lapalmaerupacian pic.twitter.com/JX00t1IVx6
— Mark Parrington (@m_parrington) September 21, 2021
The severity lies in these emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), a gas “colourless, dense, poisonous and whose inhalation is very irritating”. According to the Canary Islands Volcano Institute, the Cambre Vieja volcano currently emits between 7,997 and 10,665 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2) per day.
However, the Spanish Center for Monitoring of the AEMET Izana Atmosphere indicates that “SO2 concentrations measured in recent times range from the surface to the top of the atmosphere. SO2 may therefore be concentrated in some layers at an altitude where it has no direct impact on the population.” has no effect”.
Very high rates at source, but which will not present risk while on the go. “Thus the amount of sulfur emitted into the upper atmosphere is diluted and lost in concentration,” said astronaut The king sings.
For his part, Albert Barniol, director of meteorology RTVE“It is very important to note that these high concentrations will occur at an altitude of about five kilometers and therefore far away from the surface”, explains. “In other words, the arrival of these gases would pose no risk to the population. In the best case, a slightly cloudy sky would be appreciated”, underlines Barniol.
Volcanic eruption continues in La Palma (Canary Islands). The lava flow has slowed, but the sulfur cloud plume is still present, although limited: it is a lateral eruption mouth that formed on the slopes of the main volcano. https://t.co/0H1mFmokEm
— The Weather Channel (@lachainemeteo) September 23, 2021
The danger of acid rain also cannot be ruled out. “If the cloud is at our height, the rain will fix the sulfur dioxide on the ground. This will reduce the concentration in the air,” explains Julie Gault of the Regional Air Observatory (ATMO) in New Aquitaine. “On the other hand, if it is at a higher altitude, the rain will bring sulfur dioxide and molecules to our height. So acid rain, which, if it persisted, could have an effect on the environment, buildings, or even statues, she tells France 3.
In France, the site of the Ministry of Ecology warns against SO2, a “pollutant that causes irritation of mucous membranes, skin and respiratory tract – cough, respiratory genes, asthmatic disorders”.
There is currently no alert issued by the National Directorate of Meteorology (DMN) in Morocco.
The eruption of La Palma’s volcano could take between 24 and 84 days, given that it would contain 17 to 20 million cubic meters of lava, indicates the Volcanology Institute of the Canary Islands.
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