La Soufrière Update #41: New Drone Survey, Photos May Be Taken Tomorrow

Feb 1st 2021. Zoomed in view of the new dome and its vent. Dome volume now estimated at 5.93 million m3 and 511m in length, 231m width and 93 m height. Photo credit: UWI-SRC, Monique Johnson.

Zoomed in view of the new dome and its vent on February 1st, 2021. (UWI SRC, Monique Johnson)

Present La Soufrière Alert Level:ORANGEThere is a highly elevated level of seismic and/or fumarolic activity or other unusual activity. An eruption may begin with less than twenty-four hours’ notice.

The National Emergency Management Organization, in their latest bulletin, advised that the team from the Soufrière Monitoring Unit will conduct a drone survey and take aerial photographs of the volcano on Saturday 13th March 2020, once the weather conditions are good.

Scientists continue testing and preparation to install a permanent multi-gas monitoring instrument at the top of the
volcano. In addition, scientists continued the training of local volunteers in seismic data processing on Friday 12th March 2021. Professor Richard Robertson, a geologist with the UWI Seismic Research Centre, will re-join the team on Monday 15th March 2021.

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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