El Hierro on the brink? 9,300 tremors have rattled the island since July

October 7, 2011CANARY ISLANDSIntense swarms of tremors beneath one of the volcanic Canary Islands has placed residents of El Hierro on alert for a possible eruption. Spain’s Instituto Geografico Nacional (IGN) reported the 9,300 seismic movements on the island since July 17 have caused measurable changes in the terrain. El Hierro’s only eruption during recorded history was in 1793, when the Volcano de Lomo Negro vent rumbled for a month and produced lava flows. Seismologists say they don’t know if the rising ball of lava causing the latest rumblings will break through the surface, but they have issued a “yellow” alert as a precaution. IGN Director Maria Jose Blanco told reporters that any eruption would most likely have a “low explosive value.” Tremors about 50,000 years ago produced an enormous landslide that cascaded into the ocean, creating a large tsunami that probably reached the North American coast. –Earth Week

This entry was posted in Earth Changes, Earth Watch, High-risk potential hazard zone, Landslide & geological deformation, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Seismic tremors, Volcano Watch. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to El Hierro on the brink? 9,300 tremors have rattled the island since July

  1. Lonnie says:

    What are the chances of a major landslide? And what parts of the East Coast Shore lines in the US would it affect? Mega Tsunami?


    • The greater portion of El Hierro, about one-third of the land mass, already slid into the sea during a past eruption. Unless, there is major volcanic activity and the situation changes- we’re not looking at that threat at present.


      • From what I understand, the mega-tsunami would be more of a concern if La Palma slid, and that El Hierro shouldn’t be a concern to La Palma. Would that be a proper understanding? Or could there be extenuating circumstances?



      • Essentially that is correct but if El Hierro disintegrated…there could be cause for concern. The way things are progressing…a turn in global events could happen at any time…This is in general and no reference to El Hierro.


  2. luisport says:

    New update for RSOE.

    Situation Update No. 10

    Posted:2011-08-24, 07:53:51 [UTC]

    Ref.no.: EQ-20110824-32077-SPI

    Situation Update No. 10
    On 2011-10-07 at 17:12:25 [UTC]

    Event: Earthquake
    Location: Canary-Islands (Esp.) Province of Las Palmas Agüimes

    Number of Evacuated: 10000 person(s)


    The number of earthquakes recorded since July 17 , 2011 on El Hierro, the smallest of The Canary Islands, has almost reached 10,000, the Instituto Geografico Nacional (IGN) reported on Friday. The IGN also confirmed surface deformations exceeding 35mm on the 280-sqkm island, where residents have been put on alert for a possible volcanic eruption. The agency confirmed on Friday that 858 earthquakes, most of them located in the sea to the SW of the island, have been recorded in the 7 days since 30 September, 2011. During this period, 60 earthquakes were felt by the island’s estimated 10,000 residents. The strongest of the tremors measured 3.8 magnitude on the Richter Scale. Since 17 July, 9639 earthquakes with epicentres both North and South of the NW Ridge and depths between 10 and 15 km have been recorded. Hierro, a shield volcano, has had a single historic eruption from the Volcan de Lomo Negro vent in 1793. The eruption lasted approximately one month and produced lava flows. The recent surge in the number and intensity of earthquakes prompted officials from the IGN and The Canary Islands Government to raise the alert level for the Hierro volcano to ‘Yellow’ late last month. The alert remained in place on Friday. Seismologists say the majority of the earthquake activity has shifted from El Golfo in the island’s northwest to beneath the Las Calmas Sea in the south.

    However, magma is now on the move upwards while the depth of earthquakes has become increasingly shallow in recent days with most being recorded at a depth of 9 to 14 kilometres. Movement of magma towards the surface signifies that a volcanic eruption is likely to happen, but the timing of such remains unclear. Volcanologist Juan Carlos Carracedo last week suggested that an eruption on El Hierro would “not be a major surprise”. He explained: “It is the youngest of the Canary Islands. There is a ball of magma which is rising to the surface and it is stationed at the limit of the earth’s crust. At the moment we do not know if that ball of magna will break the crust and cause an eruption.” IGN Director, María José Blanco said that any eruption on El Hierro would most likely have a “low explosion value”. A dramatic rise in recorded earthquakes on El Hierro last week prompted officials to evacuate some local residents, shut El Hierro’s main tunnel, and close local schools. The Spanish Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) advised almost 50 residents of the municipality of La Frontera to leave their homes because of landslide fears. Two units of the Spanish military’s emergency intervention unit (EMU) were also placed on standby to depart the nearby island of Tenerife to assist in the possible evacuation of hundreds of other El Hierro residents. Meanwhile, the island’s main tunnel (Tunel del Golfo), which links Frontera to Valverde, was shut forcing motorists to travel across the 280-sq-km island via a mountain road. The Cabildo de El Hierro also ordered the closure of schools.

    El Hierro is situated in the most southwestern extreme of the Canaries. The island was formed after three successive eruptions, and consequent accumulations, the island emerged from the ocean as an imposing triangular pyramid crowned by a volcano more than 2,000 metres high. The volcanic activity, principally at the convergence of the three ridges, resulted in the continual expansion of the island. A mere 50,000 years ago, as a result of seismic tremors which produced massive landslides, a giant piece of the island cracked off, crashed down into the ocean and scattered along the seabed. This landslide of more than 300km3 gave rise to the impressive amphitheatre of the El Golfo valley and at the same time caused a tsunami that most likely rose over 100 metres high and probably reached as far as the American coast. According to ElHierro.com: “Although over 200 years have elapsed since the last eruption, El Hierro has the largest number of volcanoes in the Canaries with over 500 open sky cones, another 300 covered by the most recent outflows, and some 70 caves and volcanic galleries, notably the Don Justo cave whose collection of channels surpasses 6km in length.” El Hierro is located south of Isla de la Palma (population 86,000), currently the most volcanically active of the Canary Islands. About a half a million years ago, the volcano, Taburiente, collapsed with a giant landslide, forming the Caldera de Taburiente. Since the Spanish occupation, there have been seven eruptions.


  3. What Impresses me most about this: Is the way it was formed. ~Three Successive Eruption (3) Emerging From the Ocean as an Imposing “Triangular Pyramid” ~ Crowned by a Volcano 2,000 meters High. Convergence of THREE Ridges resulting in the Expansion of the Island.

    Sounds Cosmic to Me. Like it is a Portal of Importance. A Message About Which Many Won’t Listen. I make Videos about these Events to come in the weeks and months ahead. JuliaLeigh7111 This Could Wipe Out Much of the World. With our Sun in a Solar Crisis and this Incoming Gaseous Object bringing with it; it’s own Universe ~ Crossing into our Solar System. Interesting Times We are Certainly Living In. I Feel Privileged to Be Apart of.


  4. Newnormal says:


    If this baby goes…surfs up!!…In Pennsylvania.
    It would make the Indonesian Tsunami look like a fart in the bathtub.


  5. Debora says:

    Does anyone know where to find the map (I’ve seen it I just can’t find it) of the time it takes for the tsunami generated by this potential landslide will take to get to the US shores? My googling skills are usually better than this! I just can’t seem to find the right keywords! Thanks!


    • Greetings Debra from the Tropics of South Florida
      In response to your question. I know that it would take about 8 hrs before it hit the US.
      Florida would be gone and Canada, Great Britian. I have pictures on my computer of where it would reach and what the chances are. If you would send me your E-Mail I will send it to you.
      Mine is- I make Videos on U-Tube JuliaLeigh7111 My Page and Channel on these Events. I can also recommend more information from others that have valid and important information.
      Interesting Times. Many Thanks for the Response. Loving, Julia ❤¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪♥


  6. leo9972 says:

    The experts say 8 hours


  7. Go on U-Tube see the latest report on ~ MR2TUFF Channel. Things are getting more serious.
    God Bless us All.


  8. leo9972 says:

    Two weeks ago Ihad a dream Iwas driving in Florida when all of a sudden water was everywhere,
    did not take long till water was up to car windows…..this week I found out about the possibility
    of a mega tsumami for the east coast….hummmm, hey maybe it was only a dream.


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