Acid rain caused by sulfur dioxide gas spewing from the volcano in Spain's Canary Islands of La Palma will reach Europe this weekend.
Lava flows from the Cumbre Vieja volcano is releasing thousands of tons of sulfur dioxide gas into the atmosphere, and mixing with clouds will fall downwind towards France and the Mediterranean basin.
Les concentrations en SO2 issues de l'éruption du volcan aux #Canaries vont augmenter sur le bassin méditerranéen et en France durant le week-end, sous l'effet d'un flux de sud-ouest.— Keraunos (@KeraunosObs) September 23, 2021
Elles seront surtout sensibles entre 1000 et 3000 m d'altitude. Modèle CAMS @CopernicusEU https://t.co/w1mleirm56 pic.twitter.com/Yj3E4iAQLx
The volcanic eruption emits between 7,997 and 10,665 tons of sulfur dioxide per day and may last between one and three months. Areas downwind are at risk of acid rain, posing health issues for humans and animals by aggravating pre-existing respiratory illnesses. There's also the risk it may damage crops and contaminate drinking water.
Fire and Brimstone (Sulfur) raining down from heaven?— Wide Awake in Switzerland (@timetowakeupsw1) September 22, 2021
❗️La Palma volcano eruptions spread Sulphur Dioxide over parts of North Africa and will reach Europe within the day
Holidaymakers have been urged to take cover from acid rain by meteorologists!https://t.co/bd8ZjjPpx4 pic.twitter.com/khVjWKs4QT
The latest activity of Cumbre Vieja this week was a new fissure that emerged on Monday and produced additional lava flows that resulted in 500 islanders evacuating.
Volcanologists expect Cumbre Vieja to continue producing similar behavior in the coming days and weeks, which means Europe might receive additional rounds of acid rain. Once the pressure in the magma chamber goes down, lava will stop flowing.