The Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Morocco is bubbling as a new Canary Island prepares to breach the surface.
As of Thursday, according to the Daily Mail, it was still 70 meters (nearly 330 feet) below the surface but you can already see the action from the erupting volcano:
As exciting as this may be, the birth of this new island from the El Hierro volcano is rather dangerous and the port town of La Restinga on the coast of southern-most Canary Island (El Hierro Island) has been evacuated due to the threat of a violent eruption. Right now the new island is in its "jaccuzi" phase -- you can see where it gets this name in the pictures -- according to Volcano Discovery -- but it soon will enter its "Surtseyan" phase, which can get violent:
When the next (so-called Surtseyan) phase of violent, sustained steam and ash explosions starts is yet unknown, but it seems very likely now and could even happen very soon. This type of phreatomagmatic activity is caused by the interaction of lava close to the sea surface and is the second phase of building a new island.
Shipping to the area has stopped, according to Daily Mail, and researchers collecting samples from the water on boats have been ordered to leave:
Volcano expert Juan Carlos Carrecedo said at the time: 'There is a ball of magma rising to the surface producing a series of ruptures which generate seismic activity.
"We don't know if that ball of magma will break through the crust and cause an eruption."
But he warned an eruption was possible "in days, weeks or months". The last eruption on El Hierro was in 1793 and lasted for a month while the last one in the Canary Islands as a whole took place on the island of La Palma in 1971.
The Daily Mail reports that El Hierro Island was shook by a 4.3-magnitude quake on Saturday and Volcano Discovery notes that seismic activity will remain high as the volcano continues to erupt. Reports are that residents began seeing activity on the surface of the water last month, but many have been cautioning of an eruption since July.