Photography is a medium that enables us to capture moments; they may be from ordinary, everyday life, but sometimes they are historic moments.
One such moment was the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, which began on 19 September 2021, and ended on 13 December of the same year. An eruption that shook the entire Archipelago and the rest of Spain.
So what are the keys to understanding this event? Without a doubt, the images and photographs, which captured the lava streams and the changes to the landscape of La Palma, scenes that seemed to have been lifted out of the works of Tolkien, caused the whole world to turn its eyes towards the Isla Bonita.
‘De Volcán a Volcán’
Volcano Teide Experience, in partnership with INVOLCAN (the Canary Island Volcanology Institute), CYAN, and the photographer Saúl Santos, is staging the ‘De Volcán a Volcán’ photographic exhibition. Funds generated by the exhibition will be donated to those affected by the La Palma volcano.
This temporary exhibition is housed at the facilities of the Teide Cable Car, and includes an exciting audiovisual display with remarkable images of the eruption and the spectacular photography of Saúl Santos, which visitors are sure to find fascinating.
His images provide us with a chronological record of the build-up to the eruption, and track the various stages of its development—with interesting information about the lava streams, the temperatures reached by the lava, the extent of the damage caused, and so on. The exhibition is a perfect blend of visual and educational elements.
You can enjoy the exhibition on your visit to Mount Teide, as admission is included in your cable car ticket.
Take me to book a ticket for the cable car
The volcanic eruption on the island of La Palma occurred in the northern section of the spine of Cumbre Vieja, producing a large number of craters which alternated between effusive and explosive phases, something that is typical of Strombolian eruptions.
From the very first moments, it was clear that this was a typical Canary Island fissure eruption. Various lava fountains fed into the lava streams, which quickly flowed from the volcano, destroying everything in their path.
During the eruption, it was possible to see significant quantities of incandescent material being expelled, at the same time as dense columns of ash that reached up to 7 kilometres in height.
The lava ejected by the eruption covered an area of 1,050 hectares, destroying infrastructure and fertile land used for growing bananas and avocados.
Trees of the Canary Island pine species (Pinus canariensis) growing in the area affected by the eruption suffered a massive bombardment of ash, and pyroclastic and incandescent material. Remarkably, just a few days after the eruption ceased, the pines were regrowing—a demonstration of the impressive resilience of this species in the face of a volcanic eruption.
The eruption affected two thousand residents of Los Llanos de Aridane, El Paso and Tazacorte. Over 1,500 buildings suffered damage, including more than 1,000 homes.
Behind the camera lens was Saúl Santos, a native of Fuencaliente, and a photojournalist specialising in landscapes and nature, who has published in a range of media, including National Geographic.
With sponsorship from businesses, and public and private bodies specialising in tourism, Saúl Santos travels different regions of the world, equipped with his camera, always seeking out the best images, particularly those of nature in its purest state and landscapes.
What Santos saw and captured through his camera lens is fully reflected in ‘De Volcán a Volcán’. These compelling, close-up images allow visitors to appreciate the harshness and beauty of nature
Discover this fantastic exhibition on your visit to Mount Teide, and remember that if you would like to learn more about volcanic eruptions in the Canary Islands, you can view the blog article ‘All you need to know about the volcanic eruption in the Canary Islands’