Updated 15 January: The Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN) and the Instituto Volcanológico de Canarias (Involcan) have now made a formal evaluation of the tremor which occurred at shallow depth very near the peak of Teide. The most important finding, announced by María José Blanco, director of IGN in the Canaries, is that “no deformations have been recorded above the technical margin of error”.
Teide has three axes, she explained, with which a certain seismic activity is associated, but there are no anomalies in the values monitored, nor in the gaseous analyses. In short, Teide is continuing as usual, and no eruption nor major seismic activity is foreseen. Nemesio Pérez, Involcan coordinator and director of ITER’s environmental division, concurred, and said that the anomalies cannot be interpreted as indicators of any magmatic reactivation. Naturally, monitoring is constant and ongoing, as one would expect for an active volcano.
Updated 5pm: In view of some concern that’s already evident, and in an attempt to pre-empt the sensationalism that’s bound to come, please could you have a look back at THIS post that reported the seismic cluster in west Tenerife last October. As I said there, the Canarian Government regularly holds simulation exercises, and in terms of education, documents are made available to schools by Protección Civil like THIS one: these things are taught to the public here from childhood.
Every time something like this happens, the British tabloids run the idea that “we need a plan”. This is sensationalism designed purely to cause panic. As I said in October, there is already a plan, a protocol, and a Government agency in place. 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.
Original post 6 January 2.3opm: An earthquake measuring 3 on the Richter scale has been registered this lunchtime very close to the Teide crater. The tremor was recorded at 12.18pm, and vulcanologists say that although it appears not to have been felt by the public, it is notable not just for its magnitude, but also for how close it was to the Teide crater – just 900m away (image from Avcan below), and for how near the surface it was – a depth of just 2.8km.
Experts say they are watching to see if this was an isolated incident or whether it will be accompanied by more activity over coming hours or days, and whether there will be other indications like vertical deformation in the peak face.