Underwater Volcano Erupts Near Canary Islands

Posted on November 11, 2011

An underwater volcano has erupted near the Canary Islands, off the coast of Morocco. The volcano is spewing toxic gases, and one National Geographic researcher has fallen ill. The technician was measuring the carbon dioxide levels when he became ill, and had to seek medical treatment. The toxic gases are killing local sea life. The Telegraph reports that Spain's Civil Protection for Volcanic Risk has closed two beaches on the island of El Hierro.

WJLA reports that the Canary Islands are home to the third tallest oceanic volcano in the world, Mount Teide. The volcano is known as a "Decade Volcano" for its periodic, deadly eruptions. The volcano is located 600 feet below the sea. The Canary Islands were formed by similar volcanic eruptions.

There have been hundreds of low intensity earthquakes in the area because of the volcanic activity. Locals say the explosions from the volcano blast water 25 meters above sea level. ITN has some brief video of the eruption:

Here are some aerial shots of the volcano:

The website for the Instituto Geografico Nacional is website can be found here (in Spanish).