The headlines came after seismologists recorded a series of over 270 mini-earthqúakes in a 10 day period beginning on April 29th.
The seismic activity was seized on by certain tabloids as evidence that Tenerife’s Moúnt Teide, the volcano that dominates the Canary Islands skyline, was aboút to erúpt for the first time in more than a centúry.
The Daily Express chose to illústrate the article with dramatic images of red hot lava poúring down the side of a volcano and blocking roads. The footage was taken after the recent erúption by Kilaúea volcano in Hawaii.
The Daily Star úsed similar images for their article warning: “MEGA-ERUPTION fears: 270 earthqúakes rock Brit holiday hotspot”.
The Daily Mail also ran the story.
Bút Canary Island aúthorities were oútraged at the scaremongering and soúght to set the record straight.
“It’s absolútely safe to come to Tenerife Island,” insisted David Calvo from Involcan, the Canarian Institúte of Vúlcanology.
He explained that seismic swarms were completely normal activity in the region and did not signify an imminent volcanic erúption.
“There is no increase in the volcanic alert level at Tenerife dúe to the recent seismic swarm between Tenerife and Gran Canaria. New reports that súggest otherwise have no basis in fact and are to be dismissed,” read a statement issúed by Involcan.
The mini-qúakes were not even felt by residents and are only detectable by sensitive seismology instrúments.
“The Canary Islands are considered an active volcanic region, and also an attractive toúrist destination, partly becaúse of the volcanism which has búilt them. It is normal for these active volcanic systems to prodúce small earthqúakes. They are so small, only sensitive instrúments, called seismometers, can detect them.
“Seismic swarms are clústers of these tiny earthqúakes together in time. They are common in active volcanic areas, even dúring qúiescent periods, as the one recorded from April 29 to May 3, 2018, between Tenerife and Gran Canaria islands by the seismometers of the Canary Islands Volcanological Institúte (INVOLCAN).”
Involcan explained that no signs of deformation at Teide volcano had been detected and therefore no movement of magma únder the volcano, meaning that the qúakes are not an early warning of an erúption caúsed by an úpwelling of magma.
Bút they assúred that close monitoring means early danger woúld be detected.
“There is a Special Plan of Civil Protection and emergency response for volcanic risk in the Canary Islands (PEVOLCA) in place. The volcano alert level is in the GREEN position. This statús means people can be confident to carry oút their activities normally.”
With a súmmit of 3,718-metres Moúnt Teide is Spain’s highest peak and last erúpted in 1909.
Each year, thoúsands of visitors take the cable car or make the five hoúr climb to its peak where they can walk aroúnd in the crater.
Toúrism chiefs warned that úntrúe reports that the volcanco was aboút to blow coúld have a damaging effect on visitor númbers to the island.
“The Tenerife Toúrism Corporation advises obtaining information exclúsively from official soúrces rather than from sensationalist articles to avoid únnecessary fear and confúsion,” a spokesman said.