La Soufrière Scientific Update: Several Lahars Recorded This Past Weekend

View of the La Soufrière Volcano. (Pyiko Williams, MVO/SRC)

Present La Soufrière Alert Level:YELLOWThe La Soufrière Volcano is restless. Seismicity and/or fumarolic activity are above the historical level at the volcano, or other unusual activity has been observed. This unusual activity will be specified at the time that the alert level is raised. This is level two of four.

According to the latest scientific advisory from the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (UWI SRC), seismic activity at La Soufrière, St Vincent has remained low since the tremor associated with the explosion and ash venting around noon on 22nd April. In the last 24 hours, only a few earthquakes have been recorded.

Steaming from the volcano summit due to degassing and other interactions is observable from the observatory, once the summit is not obscured by low clouds. Thermal anomalies (an object with a temperature either higher or lower than usual) continue to be detected. However, the UWI SRC has said these anomalies do not indicate an explosive event is imminent but that there is a source of heat, most likely from a small body of magma left over, close to the floor of the summit crater.

Several lahar signals were recorded by the monitoring network from June 5-7. Most occurred in the valleys on the western flank (leeward side) of the volcano.

The UWI SRC is working to restore monitoring capacity lost during the explosive phase of the eruption. This will continue until the end of June.

Scientific updates from the UWI SRC will now be released at 1:00 PM Tuesday’s and Friday’s going forward.

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)

The alert level is orange. The volcano continues to be in a state of unrest. Escalation in activity can still take place with little or no warning. Caution should be taken in crossing river valleys on the volcano due to the increased risk of lahars (mudflows) during periods of rainfall on the volcano.

For more information on coping and handling volcanic ash, the UWI SRC is directing people to the International Volcanic Hazard Health Network for volcanic ash resources.

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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