24 Oct Excursion to La Palma to see the Volcano
Tips to see the volcano safely
When you book your excursion to La Palma to see the volcano, you must take into account the security measures that are established for it.
The Cumbre Vieja volcano has opened its jaws and unleashed hell on the island of La Palma. Hundreds of people have been left homeless and many more have lost their jobs, causing incalculable economic damage on the island.
Fortunately, the Strombolian phase of the first moments of the eruption allowed the evacuation of all the inhabitants, saving their lives. This phase was barely enough to empty the last of the inhabitants so that today they do not regret the loss of life in the eruption.
However, the authorities have an eternal struggle to separate onlookers and local or foreign tourists who want to admire the monster in its heyday. Thousands of people come to the areas near the volcano to have a picture, a selfie or even a physical piece of it.
It has been inevitable that people try to witness the eruptions and get as close as possible, sometimes without being aware of the risk involved.
First, we must understand the size and destructive power of a volcano. A natural phenomenon that is very beautiful and impressive but that leaves behind a trail of destruction.
In fact, in volcanoes like Tambora, in Indonesia more than 80 thousand people died or in Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia, more than 30 thousand. Volcanoes are destructive forces whose appearance and development is totally unpredictable.
Therefore, before wanting to observe the Cumbre Vieja volcano or any other in the world, we must have a series of security measures. Let’s look at the most important security measures before planning a visit to Cumbre Vieja.
Most important security measures at Cumbre Vieja
The Cumbre Vieja volcano has become the center of news worldwide. Volcanologists, fans of natural phenomena and curious people come to the sighting sites to get a closer look at the volcano.
This reason has forced the Civil Guard and the UME, as well as the palm authorities to give a series of safety recommendations. We must pay attention to these tips:
Do not violate security perimeters
The national and local authorities of the Government of the Canary Islands have established a series of passage restrictions in different areas of La Palma. The Civil Guard and the Police have cut off roads and paths for vehicular and / or pedestrian access.
These restrictions have not been made by chance and are due to the borders of the danger zones. From these points, the risk of being reached by lava flows or fragments thrown by the volcano, become maximum.
Escaping the controls and trying to sneak closer to the expulsion zone can put our safety and our lives at risk.
Wear safety gear and clothing
The incandescent lava emanates a temperature higher than 1000 ºC, the ashes can cause burns and serious injuries. Similarly, the gases emanating from the volcano’s mouths can be very dangerous.
That is why we must use the following safety equipment:
- Safety glasses: These must be made of fireproof materials, resistant to heat and that allow superior visibility. They must have comprehensive protection on the top, bottom, and sides. In addition, those that are attached to the back of the head for more security are ideal.
- Protection masks: Breathing gases emanating from the volcano, such as carbon dioxide and sulfur, can be harmful to health. Similarly, ash microparticles can enter the respiratory tract and cause serious damage. Carbon filter or industrial protection masks are recommended.
- Long sleeve clothing: Despite the heat of the island, the time of year we are in and the heat generated by the volcano, it is recommended to wear long-sleeved clothing. Arm and leg protection helps avoid the risk of burns from burning ashes or incandescent projectiles.
- Chunky sole shoes and non-slip: The accumulation of ash on the floor increases the risk of falls, twists or fractures. Wearing hiking boots, with non-slip sole, above the ankle or for industrial use is the most recommended.
- Sunscreen: Despite the dense cloud of volcanic material, UV rays can affect the skin. Therefore, it is recommended to use sunscreen with a protection factor of 30 SPF or higher.
Never pick up volcanic material
Fortunately, the volcano has left a very small number of injuries. One of the few events has been of people trying to catch a boiling chunk of lava with their hands.
Although it may not seem like it, all the material expelled from the volcano comes out at a temperature above 1000ºC. Although it may be very tempting to take a souvenir from the volcano with us, we must avoid this temptation.
Excursion to La Palma to see the volcano
Now, it is possible to take an excursion to La Palma to see the volcano in the same day. With the Fred Olsen ferry you can go to and from Tenerife and take advantage of the central hours of the day (or night) to see the fantastic eruption and watch the lava flows sliding towards the sea.
Attend to air quality alerts
Local and national authorities continually carry out studies on the level of concentration of toxic gases in the palm environment. These studies indicate the safety or danger of the air on the island and determine whether the population should avoid going out.
If there is a risk alert in the air and the authorities determine that there must be a general or localized containment, we must obey. We must understand that our plans can change from one moment to another due to changes in the ferocity and effects of the volcano.
Spot the volcano accompanied by expert guides
The most experienced guides are the right people to reach the sighting points safely. These specialists attend to all security measures and high-risk areas.
Likewise, they permanently control the risk levels on the routes where the best sighting points can be reached. In addition, they have the ideal equipment to measure the levels of air pollution and exposure to volcanic materials.
On the other hand, they are the best connoisseurs of the orography, relief and safe routes of the geography of La Palma. Their experience and knowledge make your tour a safe and memorable experience.