UWI SRC La Soufrière Update: 31 Discrete Explosive Eruptions Observed Since April 9th

Seismicity plot as of the morning of April 21st, 2021 (Roderick Stewart, MVO/UWI-SRC)

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.

According to the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre’s (UWI SRC) latest scientific advisory issued at 6:00 PM Wednesday 21st April 2021, seismic activity at the La Soufrière Volcano continued the pattern established after the explosive activity on 18 April.

Based on the latest seismic and satellite data, 31 discrete explosive eruptions have occurred at the La Soufrière Volcano since the start of the explosive phase of eruptions at 8:41 AM April 9th, 2021.

Seismicity plot as of the morning of April 21st, 2021 (Roderick Stewart, MVO/UWI-SRC)
Seismicity plot as of the morning of April 21st, 2021 (Roderick Stewart, MVO/UWI-SRC)

The Centre continues to record small long-period, hybrid, and volcano-tectonic earthquakes, with the seismic also recording a few rockfalls. No seismic tremor has been recorded in the last 24 hours. In the past, seismic tremors are associated with explosive eruptions of the La Soufrière Volcano.

Since the initial depressurization noted immediately following the April 9 explosive phase, the continuous GPS network has recorded a decrease in the overall rates of horizontal and vertical movement. According to the SRC, depressurization is a decrease in pressure within a volcano caused by the release of magma, gases, or fluids during an explosive event.

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)

According to the UWI SRC, the volcano continues to erupt. Its pattern of seismic activity over the last few days is typical of the growth and destruction of lava domes. Explosions with accompanying ashfall, similar to or larger, can occur with little or no warning impacting St Vincent and neighboring islands.

The alert level remains red. The National Emergency Operations Center continues to be fully functional operating on a twenty-four-hour, around-the-clock basis. NEMO will continue to provide regular updates as they continue to monitor the Volcano.

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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