As well as devastating La Palma, the Cumbre Vieja volcano could trigger a massive tsunami the next time it erupts.

Residents of the La Palma, one of the Canary Islands off the northwest coast of Africa, are living in fear that the active yet dormant volcanic ridge Cumbre Vieja could be on the verge of erupting, sparking a massive tsunami that would reach Ireland as well as the US east coast.

The fifth largest of the eight main Spanish Canary Islands is a highly popular tourist location for both Irish and British people but fears have steadily been growing among locals after La Palma was rocked by underground tremors that registered as high as 2.8 on the Richter scale. It is believed that these tremors could be an indicator that an eruption from Cumbre Vieja is about to take place, causing devastation across the island and beyond.

The Cumbre Vieja ridge from above. Image: WikiCommons.

The Cumbre Vieja ridge from above. Image: WikiCommons.

Through Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 40 tremors were registered in total at the tourist hotspot, ranging between 1.5 and 2.7 on the Richter scale, with panic spreading through the 86,000 residents of the island when the largest hit on Saturday afternoon.

The Canary Island volcano last erupted in 1971 just 22 years after the previous eruption in 1949. Before this, however, the last volcano eruption on the island had taken place in 1712.

A secion of the Cumbre Vieja volcanic ridge. Image: WikiCommons.

A secion of the Cumbre Vieja volcanic ridge. Image: WikiCommons.

If the volcano is on the verge of eruption, some experts are speculating that the volcano is entering the initial stages of failure and so it could cause a massive landslide into the surrounding ocean that would, in turn, trigger a mega-tsunami.

Experts say that within an hour, waves as high as 600 meters could have hit the coast of the continent of Africa at 450 mph while they could continue to reach the Irish south coast within three and a half hours.   

Read more: Ireland is surrounded by volcanoes

Tourist hike guides through the Cumbre Vieja volcanic ridge. Image: WikiCommons.

Tourist hike guides through the Cumbre Vieja volcanic ridge. Image: WikiCommons.

H/T: Irish Mirror

Some experts believe that the active volcano Cumbre Vieja in the Canary Islands could cause a landslide sending a 600-meter high tsunami in the direction of Ireland’s south coast.iStock