La Gomera president suggests bombing Cumbre Vieja volcano
Casimiro Curbelo, president of the Cabildo de La Gomera, has suggested the possibility of dropping bombs on the Cumbre Vieja volcano. This move would be done with the objective of hopefully influencing the directions that the lava streams would subsequently flow.
Lava is flowing out from the cone of the volcano unrelentlessly. The cone has been continually changing its shape in the last few days due to various parts of it collapsing. Huge streams of volcanic material have been devastating residential areas, along with many other parts of La Palma’s infrastructure.
The Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii was bombed in 1935
As far-fetched as Mr Curbelo’s idea might sound, this action has been done previously with an active volcano. In 1935, the Mauna Loa volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island was erupting, and threatening the city of Hilo. The US armed forces carried out a bombardment mission, aiming bombs at the vent that was spewing the largest amount of lava.
As archived by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), this was done in an attempt to either stop the flow, or to at least divert it away from heading directly into Hilo. Three days after being bombed, the vent was actually closed by a natural process, and the lava flow was stopped.
Whether this method really is a good way of combatting the natural phenomenon of an erupting volcano is still open to debate among scientists, as reported by 20minutos.es.
Primeras imágenes que llegan hoy de la #erupcion de #LaPalma a las 9.45 (hora canaria) desde Tacande / First images arriving today from #LaPalma #eruption at 9.45 am (Canarian time) from Tacande pic.twitter.com/KBDKx1lFZO
— INVOLCAN (@involcan) October 28, 2021