Update 28-06-2012 @ 17:31 – The pressure of the magma detected on the island of El Hierro has caused a deformation of between 4 and 5 centimetres in the past four days. The energy released has reached 420,000 million joules, a fact which, together with the ground deformation, evidence a magmatic process acceleration where there is an inflation process which is centred in the area where earthquakes occur. Since the earthquakes recommenced last Sunday there have been over 750 earthquakes on El Hierro. The earthquake with the greatest magnitude, of 4.0 degrees on the Richter scale, occurred yesterday (Wednesday) at 18.55 hours in the area of Mar de Las Calmas just 2km from the coast and at a depth of 20 kilometers. From noon on June 25th, the seismic activity is concentrated in an area that includes the west and the dorsal side of El Julan, and from then 12:00 on June 27th the focus of the earthquake begins to migrate towards the area of Mar de Las Calmas.
Update 28-06-2012 @ 11:02 – Overnight (Wednesday-Thursday) there have been earthquakes reaching 4 degrees on the Richter scale affecting the island of El Hierro.
Official document raising the alarm level to ‘yellow’ here.
Original story posted on 27th June 2012 – So far today, Wednesday 27th June 2012, there have been over 100 earthquakes on the island of El Hierro. The largest ones, just past midnight, measuring 3.4 degrees on the Richter scale. Due to this recent activity, the ‘traffic light’ system used to monitor and alert of the volcanic risk has changed from ‘green’ to ‘yellow’ in the areas of El Julan and La Dehesa. During 2011 the earth deformation caused by the volcanic activity on El Hierro was 5 centimetres in total. It has now moved 3 centimetres in just two days.
In a press conference held by the scientific committee and director of Pevolca at noon today in Tenerife, it has been reported that the abnormal seismic activity observed in recent days combined with ground deformation indicates a magmatic process at a depth of 20km in the area of El Julan – La Dehesa.
The scientific committee does not expect an imminent eruption, but does report that there is movement of magma.
Shortly before the press conference today (Wednesday, 27th June 2012), the Canarian Volcanic Institute (Involcan) issued a press release reporting the existence of “significant deformation of the ground” on El Hierro. In a stemenet released, they claim that “During the past two days we have recorded horizontal movements to the East of 2 centimetres and to the north of 3 centimetres and a vertical elevation of 2 centimetres”. They added that “this clearly represents a process of movement of magma underground much faster than that seen last year.”
* Archive image of El Hierro