La Soufrière Update #19: MVO Scientists, Helicopter Support Leave SVG

The team from Calvin Air with scientists and technical teams from UWI SRC and the MVO tasked with monitoring La Soufrière. (NEMO)

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 helicopter support ended today and the crew from Calvin Air Helicopters returned to Antigua during the early afternoon of January 19th, 2021 according to the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO).

Dr. Adam Stinton, who had been sent from the Montserrat Volcano Observatory to assist with dome growth measurements, returned to Montserrat. During his visit, Dr. Stinton completed an aerial survey of the new dome, assisted with daily visual observations and photographic documentation of dome growth, and was part of the two-person team that sampled the growing lava dome.

Thank you to the crew of CALVIN Air (Dominic, Tim and Greg) for your tremendous effort over the last 7 days for aerial…

Posted by NEMO St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Wednesday, January 20, 2021

No clear views were obtained of the dome today according to the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in St. Vincent. Weather conditions again hampered fieldwork on the volcano. Conditions eased sufficiently to allow Instrumentation Engineer Lloyd Lynch and Engineering Technician Ian Juman to be dropped off at the monitoring station on the volcano’s upper flank, where they undertook some modification of the station configuration to improve communication.

However, equipment to install a camera at the crater rim to monitor dome growth was also completed. 

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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