Latest seismic cluster followed by single tremor off coast of El Médano

Graphic: IGN.

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.

If any of the above links fail, or a pop-up message says they’re unsafe, the sites are actually fine but their security certificates don’t correspond to browser expectations: just remove the “s” from the “https” part of the URL and the links should work fine.



  1. Thank you for posting this Janet. I hope you don’t mind me sharing this – I am totally fed up with the UK media scare stories regarding volcanic activity in the Canaries.

    1. Author

      no please do share! A link or reference to this site would be appreciated, though.

  2. Hi Janet, is there a version of this in English do you know?

    1. Author

      I’m not aware of one if there is, I’m afraid.

  3. Hi Janet, just clicked on the “HERE” to have a look at the annexe you mention and all that comes up is a box saying SECURITY ALERT and saying that there are problems with the security certificate for this site.
    I only mention this as it only takes an English journalist/newspaper to see this and the Island will be slagged off again saying there is no protocol in place.

    1. Author

      I know … but it’s the site’s own security certificate there’s an issue with. The site itself is perfectly safe but there’s nothing I can do from here other than say they should just leave the s off the https … actually I’ll add that to the post1

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