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Tenerife holiday panic after new earthquake sparks fears Canary Island volcano could ERUPT

A 3.7 magnitude earthquake was located between the two islands on Saturday. It was found where the Enmedio Volcano, discovered roughly over 30 years ago, sleeps.

Enmedio was mapped by the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) in the late 1990s after a 5.2 magnitude earthquake and thirty aftershocks hit the Canary Islands.

The IEO travelled to the site, 25.47km from Tenerife and 36.2km from Gran Canaria, just a few weeks ago, finding an extraordinarily large footprint on the seabed that, according to the Institute, warns of the volcano’s strength.

The volcanic edifice has a depth of 1,630m at its summit and 2,100, at its base, with a maximum height of 470m, close to a fault line of about 35km.

READ MORE: Breathtaking moment of rare volcanic lightning captured

An underwater giant, its base can fit 539 football pitches, with a diameter of almost 3km and two secondary cones.

While its interior is active, there is currently no apparent seismic activity.

Still, confirmation by the National Geographic Institute (IGN) that movement was felt in several areas of the islands, which are separated by 190km of water, has brought fear back to two territories that only months ago witnessed the effects of a lengthy eruption had on neighbouring La Palma.

Cumbre Vieja brought chaos to the small island in September last year and did not stop until the end of December.

85 days of rumbling brought an estimated damage of £760m to the island’s infrastructure – so, the prospect of yet another volcanic episode is unsurprisingly scary for Canary Islanders.

However, according to María José Blanco, IGN’s director, they can rest assured outbursts like those at La Palma won’t happen.

She told Spanish paper ABC: “This is a monogenetic volcano, it will never have an eruption again.

“As its name indicates, it is a unique genesis.”

This, she explained, is what “differentiates it from other well-known volcanoes” such as the Teide, “which is a polygenetic volcano, meaning it produces one eruption after another”, or the Etna, with “a built-in magmatic chamber”.

Italy’s Mount Etna erupted again on Monday night — for the 54th time in the last 12 months —, sending a plume of ash into the sky over Sicily.

At 10,900 feet at its highest point, it is Europe’s tallest active volcano, and its frequent activity throughout 2021 increased its size by 100 feet in one year.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega