We get low-level seismic activity here most of the time, with volcanologists assuring the public that these are within the range of normal for an active volcano, and indeed of value to avoid the build-up of a situation that could create conditions for an eruption. And so the latest cluster around 1am on Thursday 16 August is nothing to be worried about: the tremors registered by IGN were all 1.4 or 1.5 at depths of between 11 and 15 km. Once again the cluster had its epicentre under the slope of Pico Viejo, the area of previous clusters and it was followed around 7am by a tremor of 1.7 at 17km depth off the coast of El Médano, Granadilla.
The British tabloids love these stories and often report them in colourful terms intended to scare and titillate. In the past they’ve implied that the authorities here have no plan nor give any education about what to do in the event of an eruption, nor is there any evacuation system in place. All of these claims are false. The Canarian Government regularly holds simulation exercises of a major eruption, and in terms of education, documents are made available to schools by Protección Civil, and there is THIS from INVOLCAN: these things are taught to the public here from childhood! Finally, there is a protocol in place and a Government agency to apply it. We live on an active volcano so the idea that people are whistling into the wind and living on hope is simply insulting to the authorities here. The Canarian Government’s Plan Especial de Protección Civil y Atención de Emergencias por riesgo volcánico en la Comunidad Autónoma de Canarias (Pevolca) is enshrined in legislation, and annex 2 of the document is a public information and advice leaflet: you can read it HERE.
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