St Vincent’s La Soufriere Volcano Now Under 24hr Monitoring

(By Ernesto Cooke) – The La Soufriere volcano on the Caribbean island of St Vincent, is now under 24hr observation.

The volcano which last erupted in 1979, began to show signs of renewed life in December of 2020.

A release from the country’s National Emergency Management Organisation on Saturday says the Belmont Observatory is now occupied permanently by the Lead Scientist Doctor Thomas Christopher.

NEMO noted that the monitoring network is now on a twenty-four-hour basis.

Damage to vegetation, from acidic gases emitted from the growing dome, continues downslope of the summit on the Western side.

In its release, NEMO further noted that the most active gas emissions are at the contact areas between the pre-existing 1979 dome and the 2020-21 dome, and the top of the new crown.

In mid-January, the North-Western villages experienced strong Sulphur smell and a nighttime glow from the new dome’s incandescent materials.

A camera was installed at the volcano summit, on January 24 to monitor changes of the dome; it was adjusted on February 01, to allow more explicit images to be received.

Four (4) GPS stations are currently streaming data to the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center in Trinidad.

The new dome continues to grow with the lateral spreading of material towards the north and south, with a preferred northward growth observed.

Residents have been asked to refrain from visiting the La Soufrière Volcano, especially going into the crater, since doing so is extremely dangerous.

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