Gases Emitting From La Soufriere Damage Camera Monitoring Equipment

The effusive eruption, ongoing fumarolic activity, expansion of the new dome, and increased seismic activity continue at La Soufriere volcano on St Vincent and the Grenadines. The country remains on Orange Alert.

 (By Ernesto Cooke) – New photos released by the UWI SRC team shows that volcanic gases are damaging newly installed equipment.

 Last week several of the photos posted via the UWI Seismic Research Centre showed low cloud cover and vigorous venting from the new dome.

 This volcanic action caused obscured views of the western side of La Soufriere.

 On Friday 19th, the new photos show damage to camera equipment placed on the summit to monitor the new dome.

 The UWI SRC said the damage to the camera was due to volcanic gases despite it being encased. 

 The team noted that new camera equipment was installed and hopefully will withstand the hazardous conditions at the active volcano’s summit.

 New Dome Continue To Grow

 The new dome continues to grow towards the north-west and south-east, with the most active gas emissions being the contact areas between the pre-existing 1979 crown and the 2020-21 dome. 

 NEMO, the National Emergency Management Organisation, said all monitoring data indicate that magma’s ongoing effusion (outflow) onto the crater floor continues.

 Is The Danger Increasing 

Dr Thomas Christopher, lead scientist monitoring the la Soufriere volcano, says that based on the volcano’s configuration and how the eruption is progressing, the danger has not increased to the population in the immediate vicinity since the dome is contained.

 In an interview with UWI SRC on the 15th, Christopher said there is also currently no danger of an explosion at this time due to the slow growth rate of the dome.

 ” We do not see any other evidence like pressurisation, so as far as we are concerned, the eruption is an annoying one, but it’s not threatening the lives of the people who are living on the lower flanks of the volcano right now”.

The only danger it will pose to persons are those who decide to go up at the summit and down into the crater; that is where the threat is, Dr Christopher said.

The lead scientist says the people on the volcano’s flanks are in no more danger than they were at the start of the eruption.

 No Evacuation Notice

The National Emergency Management Organisation 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, especially going into the crater, since doing so is extremely dangerous.

 La Soufriere last erupted in 1979.

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