La Soufrière Update #34: With No Visual Observations, Scientists Use Satellites

Present La Soufrière Alert Level:REDAn eruption is in progress or may begin without further warning.

The National Emergency Management Organization, in their latest bulletin, advised due to overcast conditions and very high winds over the last few days, it was impossible for the drone flight to be conducted in order to make visual observations of the conditions inside the volcano and survey the new dome. However, satellite images of La Soufrière Volcano taken on February 17, 2021, confirm that the new dome continues to grow slowly.

NEMO staff will be conducting a drive through in the Rose Hall Community on Tuesday 23rd February 2021. The purpose of this drive through is to update residents on the state of the La Soufrière Volcano, and to provide information on evacuation procedures and individual preparedness.

There is NO ‘explosive’ eruption at the La Soufrière volcano at this time. La Soufrière continues to have effusive eruptions as hot magma reaches the surface at extreme temperatures. This appears in the night as fire or a bright red glow above the crater. As the dome gets higher and closer to the crater’s rim, this phenomenon will continue to be visible on clear nights.

The alert level remains at Orange. The volcano continues to exude magma on the surface and steam can still be observed from the Belmont Observatory. Persons living in areas close to the volcano should expect strong sulfur smells for several days to weeks, depending on changes in wind direction.

The NEMO is reminding the public that no evacuation order or notice has been issued. NEMO continues to appeal to the public to desist from visiting the La Soufrière Volcano and especially going into the crater since doing so is extremely dangerous.

The @uwiseismic and NEMO continue to advise access to the #LaSoufriere Volcano is strictly prohibited at this time….

Posted by Trinidad and Tobago Weather Center on Thursday, January 14, 2021

According to the SRC, the new volcanic dome is extremely dangerous for those in close proximity as it can explode at any time without warning. People have been killed in this way. This warning comes as images from a birthday photoshoot surfaced on social media.

Volcanic Hazard Map for the La Soufrière Volcano, St. Vincent (UWI SRC/NEMO)
Volcanic Hazard Map for the La Soufrière Volcano, St. Vincent (UWI SRC/NEMO)

Official information will originate from St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Emergency Management Organization and the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center.

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