La Soufrière Update #40: Multiple Samples & Measurements Taken

Ms TiVonne Howe takes samples of the carbon dioxide (CO2) flux that is coming through the soil on the flanks of the volcano. CO2 from volcanic systems is emitted from the soil and not so much the plume. So the CO2 measurements from the plume with the multigas equipment and the soil CO2 flux will help us better understand the CO2 budget and the deep degassing regime and the current activity. (UWI SRC)

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 that over the weekend, the monitoring team did a walk-through along the west coast downwind of the volcano to test for volcanic gas. Measurements of carbon dioxide in the soil were also done along the lower parts of the volcano’s western sides. No sulfur dioxide was detected during the investigation done by boat along the west (Leeward) coast. The processing of data collected from the Wallibou Hot Springs last week indicated that there is no magmatic signature in the gases detected. The water samples have been dispatched to the United States for analysis.

Photos of equipment, UWI-SRC staff and team at work prior to and during their deployment to SVG to boost the monitoring capabilities of La Soufrière, SVG.

Posted by UWI Seismic Research Centre on Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Training of local volunteers in seismic data processing will continue on Thursday and Friday. Measurements to the Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM reflector) at the top of the volcano were done with the support of the Lands & Surveys Department. Satellite images of the crater from Sunday 7thMarch 2021 indicated that the dome continues to grow. No clear ground deformation signals have been obtained from the cGPS network.

The gas coming from the dome has caused damage to vegetation in the hillside areas on the south-western sides of the volcano. The gases within the plume are more acidic and can cause respiratory harm to human beings and potentially render one unconscious. The gases can also have a corrosive effect on skin and eyes, even with short exposure.

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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