Volcano capable of generating tsunami in Brazil goes on yellow eruption alert

Spanish authorities raised to yellow the warning of the eruption of the volcano Cumbre Vieja, located on the island of La Palma, off the coast of the African continent. According to researchers, the volcano could cause a tsunami that would hit the Americas, with greater impact on the coasts of the North and Northeast regions of Brazil.

The volcano’s elevation information was given by the portal MetSouth Meteorology and confirmed by UOL.

The volcano has been dormant for decades and has started to show signs of moderate activity in recent days.

“He wasn’t showing any signs of an eruption, but now he’s reached a second level. There are four alert levels. He could have an eruption, but it doesn’t mean that this eruption will generate a tsunami, but it’s a possibility, even if minimum”, explains researcher at the Institute of Marine Sciences at UFC (Federal University of Ceará), Carlos Teixeira.

The hypothesis that a tsunami could be caused by the eruption of Cumbre Vieja has already been confirmed in several researches on the subject. “There are several studies published about this possibility of tsunami. It is a real hypothesis, and it would happen if there were an explosive eruption”, says Carlos Teixeira.

According to an analysis carried out in a study produced at the Department of Geology at UFPR (Federal University of Paraná), the island of La Palma is 4,462 km from São Luís.

“It is estimated that the next eruption could destabilize the island’s slope due to factors such as the slope of the volcano, volume of mobilized material, climatic factors and, above all, an existing weakness zone that will facilitate the occurrence of mass movement”, says the research made at UFPR by geologist Mauro Gustavo Resse Son, who researched the topic and published TCC (Course Completion Paper) in 2017.

This movement, in turn, may be capable of generating a tsunami that will cover transatlantic distances and that will reach practically all countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean. From the modeling of such an event, it was obtained the information that the entire Brazilian coast will be affected
Mauro Resse Filho

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Carlos Teixeira says there is no reason to worry at the moment. “If this possibility of an eruption occurs, it does not mean that it will be explosive; if it is, it does not mean that it will arrive here with waves of eight, ten meters; it could arrive here much smaller”, he explains.

The question we ask is: is Brazil —and not just Brazil, because it can reach the Caribbean and the US— is it prepared for such an event?

According to the Metsul website, the La Palma region faces a significant increase in seismic movements since Saturday, “following the upward trend since 2017 and gaining greater strength since 2020”.

“In recent days, in addition to increasing the volume of seismic movements, its intensity increased with shocks that had magnitude greater than 3. The depth of the epicenters also decreased, on average, from 30 to 12 kilometers. Only yesterday there were more than 100 tremors and one was only 4 kilometers deep,” he informs.

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