The Cumbre Vieja volcano on Spain’s La Palma island has been belching lava and ash for more than five weeks now. Many have tried to take a closer look, including a DJI Mini 2 drone that miraculously survived to tell the tale but got lost when its battery died over a thicket. The story doesn’t end here, though…
As we saw with Fagradalsfjall in Iceland earlier this year, volcanoes hold a special attraction for drone pilots. When they aren’t sleeping, they’re almost like living beings, constantly changing in appearance and behavior. Drones, meanwhile, have this special ability to visit these creatures up close and capture them on camera like never before.
We have highlighted plenty of volcano drone videos on this site, but none that take us as close to the crater on La Palma as this one does. It comes from the YouTube channel “Sunsets Sweden,” and though there isn’t a lot more information about the creator on the channel, we do know that the pilot had his Mini 2 barely 15 feet above the mouth of the volcano. The lava almost hit the drone many times
Incidentally, this wasn’t the first time the drone pilot attempted to get close to the lava. His original Mini succumbed to the heat, melting partially at first and then getting lost due to strong winds.
And the new Mini 2? Well, this one did the job (bravo!) and almost got home before running out of juice and getting stuck in a tree. Sigh! Let’s watch…
The next day was a different story though. The pilot went hunting for the craft and managed to rescue it with a 7-meter fishermen’s stick.
All’s well that ends well!
That said, it’s worth noting that even after 41 days, the volcanic activity on La Palma is showing no signs of ending. As volcano scientist Vicente Soler tells Associated Press:
We saw the worst-case scenario in the 1949 eruption, when a second volcano mouth opened up and cut off the southern part of the island, which had to be supplied by boat. That is highly improbable, although not impossible, today.
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