(By Ernesto Cooke) – There is no relation between activity at St Vincent’s La Soufriere volcano and Martinique’s volcano, Mt Pelée.
Magma reaching the surface formed a new dome at La Soufrière volcano on December 29th 2020.
Volcanologist Erik Klemetti, at Denison University in Ohio, told the associated press that the activity at Mt. Pelée and La Soufrière is not related.
Klemetti said; “It’s not like one volcano starts erupting that others will,” he said. “It falls into the category of coincidence.”
On Dec. 3, officials with the Martinique volcanological and seismological observatory advised raising the alert level to yellow for Mt Pelée after detecting seismic activity under the mountain, according to a news release from the observatory.
An increase in seismic activity since April 2019 and the detection of two tremors on Nov. 8 and 9 led the observatory to recommend raising the alert level, which the government did.
A reconnaissance mission to La Soufriere aboard a french helicopter on Wednesday 6th January revealed that the vegetation on the 1979 dome and crater floor is being impacted by the volcanic gases and material being ejected.
The UWI – SRC says volcanic gases will continue emitting from the new dome and residents on the volcano’s flanks can expect to smell sulphur for a sustained period.
The alert level remains at orange, which means an eruption could occur with less than 24 hours’ notice. No evacuations have been ordered by the government.
The last time La Soufrière erupted in 1979, more than 20,000 people were evacuated. An eruption in 1902 killed 1,565 people.