What is the name of the new La Palma volcano? 🌋

La Palma volcano
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The wonders of nature always have a way of astonishing us and, in the case of La Palma, one of the most beautiful islands in the Canaries, its volcanic activity made headlines and caused a sensation all over the world, reminding us that the Canary Islands were formed from volcanoes… and that they still have ACTIVE volcanoes. 🌋 Many people still wonder today how the new La Palma volcano is called, what has happened with it, or even if it can be visited… So here we are going to answer all these questions.

Where is La Palma new volcano? 🔎🌍

La Palma island, located in the Canary Islands archipelago, off the northwest coast of Africa, is, together with El Hierro, the westernmost island of the Canary Islands, and is famous for its natural beauty and landscapes. The new volcano of La Palma arose in the southern part of the island, within the Cumbre Vieja Natural Park 🌲, near the village of El Paraíso (The Paradise, in Spanish).

How did the new volcano form? 😲

The process of volcano formation is a complex and fascinating geological phenomenon; in the case of the new volcano in La Palma, it was the result of the eruption that began on 19 September 2021 and lasted 85 days (almost 3 months), after numerous seismic movements had been recorded in the region in the previous months.

As a consequence of this volcanic eruption, a volcanic cone was generated, some 200 metres above the original ground (1,120 metres above sea level), with 6 secondary craters and a main crater 172 metres wide at its widest point. The eruption, although a spectacle of nature, nevertheless had serious consequences for the population living in the area affected by the lava flows, which destroyed some 1,345 houses: more than 7,000 people had to flee from their homes.

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Neither Cumbre Vieja volcano, nor La Palma volcano: how is it called? 🤔

Here we come to one of the most mysterious points, and indeed the one that has generated the most controversy. Many initially referred to this new volcano as the “Cumbre Vieja volcano” due to its location on the Cumbre Vieja ridge, or simply “volcano of La Palma“; others have even called it “No Name volcano” due to the fact that, more than two years after its eruption, it still does not have an official name.

Although the name of the volcano is still a matter of debate today, now there is a fairly broad consensus to call it the Tajogaite Volcano. 💡 But, why this name? On La Palma, volcano names are usually based on aboriginal words or related to saints’ days… and this one is no exception. The name “Tajogaite” has been the one that has resonated most within the community and experts to keep local tradition, and responds to the name given by the island’s aborigines (the Benahoarites) to Montaña Rajada (“Cracked Mountain”, in Spanish), which is the area where the eruption took place. A popular vote overwhelmingly approved this name, although the decision was not officially recognised.

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Is it possible to visit the Tajogaite volcano? 🚶

For tourism and science enthusiasts, the idea of visiting the Tajogaite volcano sounds exciting, and certainly is. However, it is essential to remember that, even if the eruption is over, there may still be risks associated with being next to a dormant – but still active – volcano.

The truth is that, more than two years after the eruption, some local tour operators have already begun to offer guided tours of the area to appreciate the majesty of the news volcano. 🌄 It is important to underline that these routes are always done in groups and accompanied by an expert guide, and that participants should wear appropriate footwear and clothing, as well as enough water for the walk; furthermore, it is not recommended to visit the area around the Tajogaite volcano for people with mobility difficulties or respiratory problems, as the area continues to emanate gases. Finally, do not forget that it is strictly forbidden to collect rock or soil samples of any kind.

Beyond that, the new La Palma volcano, like other points of interest on the so-called isla bonita (“beautiful island”, in Spanish), presents a unique opportunity to combine tourism, science and nature. So, if you are thinking of visiting the Canary Islands, don’t miss the opportunity to admire this impressive witness of the Earth’s power… or even to meet it up close! 🌋🤩 And remember: Nature is a gift, and it is our responsibility to take care of it and respect it. Happy trip to La Palma! ✈️🧳

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