La Soufrière Alert Levels

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 Alert Level for the La Soufrière Volcano reflects the status and activity of the volcano. It consists of four levels, increasing in severity: green, yellow, orange, and red.

Content:
The Alert Levels
Green Level
Yellow Level
Orange Level
Red Level
Who is responsible for adjusting the La Soufrière Alert Level?

The Alert Levels

At any given time, the alert level reflects the status of the La Soufrière Volcano. According to the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre, the alert levels for volcanoes in the Commonwealth Caribbean are set by a committee which consists of the professional, scientific staff of the Seismic Research Centre, with consultation with other scientists with special knowledge of this region. Governments responsible for the volcano in question are consulted before the alert level is changed, but this may not always be possible as alert levels may change very rapidly.

This alert level system outlined in this article is for La Soufrière, St. Vincent ONLY. Alert levels for other volcanoes on land and submarine are defined slightly differently.

Green Level

What does this mean?

The La Soufrière Volcano is quiet. Seismicity and fumarolic (steam vent) activity are at or below the historical level at the volcano. No other unusual activity detected or observed.

This is level one of four, the lowest level.

Actions for Scientists

Maintain the basic monitoring system.

Recommended action by Civil Authorities and the Public

Yellow Level

What does this mean?

The 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.

Actions for Scientists

  • Bring the monitoring system to full capability.
  • Civil authorities will be alerted.

Recommended action by Civil Authorities and the Public

Orange Level

What does this mean?

There 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. This is level three of four.

Actions for Scientists

  • Monitoring system continuously manned.
  • Regular visual inspection of potential vent areas.
  • Continuous ground deformation and hydrothermal monitoring.
  • Daily assessment reports to civil authorities.

Recommended action by Civil Authorities and the Public

Red Level

What does this mean?

An eruption is in progress or may begin without further warning. This is the highest level of alert, four of four.

Actions for Scientists

  • Measurements as permitted by activity and safety conditions
  • Civil authorities advised continuously.

Recommended action by Civil Authorities and the Public

Who is responsible for adjusting the La Soufrière Alert Level?

The U.W.I. Seismic Research Centre is a scientific monitoring agency that supports various local disaster management agencies of the Eastern Caribbean. This includes the monitoring of the La Soufrière Volcano.

The Seismic Research Centre (SRC) updates the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) of St. Vincent and the Grenadines which is then responsible for adjusting the alert level of La Soufrière based on the SRC’s information.

The alert levels for volcanoes in the Commonwealth Caribbean are set by a committee which consists of the professional, scientific staff of the SRC, although they often consult with other scientists with special knowledge of this region. Governments with responsibility for the volcano in question are consulted before the alert level is changed, but this may not always be possible as alert levels may change very rapidly.

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