Speaking to Lusa news agency, Carlos Ramalho, from IPMA in the Azores, says that the “lower visibility” and the “fog” observed in the central group of the archipelago “may originate from the volcano of La Palma”.
According to him, it is a “sulphate” that “aggregates with water vapour” and creates the “fog” due to the high humidity registered in the Azores.
The meteorologist stressed that the IPMA is still “confirming” the hypothesis and highlighted that there is a possibility that it “is not related to the ashes” of the volcano, but rather a chemical process.
“These are chemical reactions that then spread across the Atlantic. These are chemical processes that occur from the eruption of the volcano, which emits various gases. Some of these gases, as they move through the atmosphere, undergo chemical reactions. When they arrived here [to the region] they gave rise to this sulfate," he said.
And he continued: “This sulphate is added to the water vapour, and as the relative humidity is very high, this fog is formed. That's what we think, but we still don't have an official answer.”
Carlos Ramalho said that when the reduction in visibility is caused by desert sands, “usually everything gets very dirty and dusty”, a situation that is not happening today.
According to him, it is “probable” that this sulphate has spread to other regions, but “as the humidity was not so high” in those places “people didn't even notice”.
Hoping to have official confirmation in the “coming hours”, Carlos Ramalho said that the “concentration” of the sulfate “is very low” and that the “situation should improve” on Saturday.
The Cumbre Vieja volcano is located on the island of La Palma, one of the islands in the Spanish archipelago of the Canaries, located in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Morocco.
The volcano's eruption began on September 19 and forced more than 6,000 people to flee their homes.
So far, no injuries or deaths have been recorded.
The lava has destroyed 656 buildings and covered 268 hectares on the island, according to the European Union's Copernicus geospatial measurement system.