New Dome Circling Old One, Residents Told To Be Prepared

The La Soufriere volcano on the Southern Caribbean island of St Vincent continues to ooze magma as of Wednesday, 24th March 2021.

(By Ernesto Cooke) As the new dome grows laterally within the crater, it has begun to circle the old 1979 dome.

Geologist Professor Dr Richard Robertson of the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre says the dome’s new volume is a little above 13 million cubic meters, compared to the last measurement, which was on 12th February.

Professor Robertson said that this is substantial growth. He said that in terms of height, the dome is over 100 meters high. It was 90 meters in February.

Robertson speaking on the radio, said it’s wrapped around a bit further to the west, and if anybody is  familiar with the conditions, it just about past where the 1979 dome is.

According to a posting by NEMO, a helicopter from the French Civile Securite is supporting the scientists over the next two days installing new equipment and collecting samples from the dome.

Speaking on NBC’s Face to Face Programme, Professor Robertson said Vincentians who live in communities close to the La Soufriere Volcano are advised to be prepared in the event of a volcanic eruption.

“Persons should use this time to put things in place, just in case they have to move, if it goes explosive, people will have to move; however, even if it does not go explosive, I have spoken about things that can happen”.

Robertson said NEMO is doing their part, and persons must ensure that they have plans to minimize the impact of a volcanic eruption.

Further Information on La Soufriere (UNESCO)

The island of St Vincent is one of a chain of volcanic islands known as the Lesser Antilles that forms part of an island arc where there is active volcanism.

The volcanic activity is caused by the subduction (underthrusting) of the Atlantic Ocean floor below the Caribbean Seafloor.

La Soufriere volcano located in the northern part of the island is the only active volcano on the island and is one of 20 other live volcanoes located in the Lesser Antilles.

A live volcano is described as a volcano that is currently erupting or has the capacity to erupt again. La Soufriere occupies almost one-third of the island and embodies several geographical features such as hot springs, several craters and dry rivers.

La Soufrière is one of the most active volcanoes in the Lesser Antilles and has a long history of eruptions with historical records showing eruptions in 1718, 1812, 1814, 1902-1903, 1971-72 and 1979.

Loss of life was recorded in the 1812 and 1902-03 eruptions when 56 persons died in 1812 and over 1500 in 1902-03.

There are at least 3 extinct volcanic centres on the island located to the south of La Soufriere.

These are the South-East volcanic centre, the Grand Bonhomme centre and the Morne Garu centre.

NEMO: Change In Seismic Activity At La Soufrière, Earthquakes Reported • News784

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