The National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) of Grenada through Technical advice from the monitoring team at the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre St Augustine Campus Trinidad and Tobago (UWI SRC), that there have been increased seismic activity at the Kick‘em Jenny Volcano.
The latest activity was observed over a seven-day period in the month of June.
According to the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre’s Scientific Advisory dated 6:00 PM June 12th, 2020, “Since 2020/06/05, 1384 low magnitude volcanic earthquakes associated with the Kick ’em- Jenny submarine volcano (KeJ) have been recorded; the largest was of magnitude 1.8.”
“High-level volcanic earthquakes persisted for about 78 hours, then abruptly subsided and decayed to background during the following 24-hour period; the total, so far, for this unrest episode is 1413,” the report continued.
Activities have since reduced, but there is continuous monitoring of the volcano which is at the Yellow Level Alert.
According to the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre’s Scientific Advisory, “prior to 2001, as far as is known, KeJ erupted without associated precursory seismicity. The 2001 KeJ unrest episode was associated with precursory seismicity, as were those in 2015 and 2017. The 2018 unrest episodes represented another KeJ pattern change: high-level seismicity, with no eruption.”
“It is considered that KeJ volcanic earthquakes are possibly associated with magma intrusion, pressure changes related to magma crystallization or de-gassing effects, or some combination of these processes. It is possible that the system is sufficiently recharged to be able to generate eruptions without further significant high-level seismicity. Also likely is that seismicity will continue to be recorded, with possible intensification, subsiding to background levels, with or without eruptive activity.”
The Alert Level remains at YELLOW, which is a 1.5 km exclusion zone around the summit of the volcano. However, with the increased activity, the Agency encourages marine operators to be vigilant when traversing the area, as an increased seismic activity also results in the emission of gases, which can reduce the density of the water around the summit.
The general public is therefore further reminded that the exclusion zone of 1.5 kilometers must continue to be observed.
NaDMA together with UWI SRC will continue to monitor and update as necessary. The U.W.I. Seismic Research Centre is the the authority for seismic and volcanological information in the Eastern Caribbean. For details on Kick’em Jenny, see the UWI SRC.
Presently, there is no danger to Trinidad, Tobago and the remainder of the Lesser Antilles.
What does this mean?
The Kick’em Jenny Volcano is restless. Seismicity and/or fumarolic activity are above the historical level or other unusual activity has been observed or can be expected without warning. This is level two of four.
Actions for Scientists
- Bring the monitoring system to full capability.
- Civil authorities will be alerted and the communication system tested.
Recommended action by Civil Authorities and the Public
- Intensify public awareness campaigns.
- An exclusion zone of 1.5 kilometers from the summit of the volcano should be enforced for non-essential shipping.
- Visiting scientists should ensure that the Sauteurs Observatory is manned throughout their visit (at their expense) and that the Observatory can contact their ship at any time. They must also be prepared to leave the exclusion zones immediately upon request.