Wednesday, January 4, 2012

El Hierro Erupting Glowing Lava Stones At Night

Video from shows glowing lava stones floating on the surface of the water during night time as activity again increases at El Hierro. Video shows a very obvious lava blob floating on the surface of the water, and eventually being extinguished by the ocean. Hopefully this activity will continue into the daytime so we can see some good video. You can watch the webcam here and hope to see a glimpse of the lava as it happens.

The El Hierro volcano continues to vex bloggers who want to be the first to report an end to the eruption. I will say this, the volcano has proven time and again that it is in no rush to finish what it started, and will probably be content to ooze lava from time to time. Sometimes, volcanoes that have been long dormant might have a longer than normal eruption, mostly due to the foundations on which they sit. An Island like El Hierro could conceivably, have a long term eruptive phase much like that of Hawaii's Kiluea volcano (which I suspect might be the case). Even though the eruption is a few months old now, it is still too early to tell when it might stop and give the residents of El Hierro a break.

The unfortunate thing for El Hierro is the location of the volcano (near one of its main port cities and tourist destinations), and the negative press its own government has given the eruption. Sensationalist news outlets and tabloids have effectively scared most of the normal tourists into cancelling whatever plans they had on the island, and damaged the local economy (not to mention the hit to fisherman who have seen their shoals of fish boiled by the underwater volcano in the early phase). It could have been very different, like it was for Iceland when Eyjafjallajokull erupted, drawing in thousands of tourists to the arctic isle. I guess the Spanish government probably wouldn't have a lot of experience with volcano-tourism.

In any case, stay tuned for more updates!

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