(By Ernesto Cooke) – The strong smell of sulphur is being reported by residents in the northwestern community of Troumaca on Friday night.
Troumaca and several other communities are located in the direct path of the La Soufriere volcano.
A number of residents in Troumaca reported to News784 that the smell of sulphur has been in the atmosphere since around 5 pm this afternoon, however, it became extremely strong in the last 30 minutes.
UWI officials noted that La Soufriere is currently going through a stage of effusive eruptions.
Monitoring scientists at the Belmont Observatory led by scientists from The UWI Seismic Research Centre (SRC) have noted a change in seismic activity associated with the ongoing eruption of the La Soufrière Volcano.
On 23 March 2021, the monitoring network started recording volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes. These earthquakes are normally associated with underground fractures of the rock mass and are commonly generated by magma pushing through an unyielding rock mass.
The earthquakes were felt by people living in communities close to the volcano such as Fancy Owia and Sandy Bay.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves on Friday morning said things are very uncertain at this point; however, the scientist and the team is continuing their work in investigating the recent activities.
The Prime Minister said amidst the uncertainty, Vincentians don’t have to “panic”, “we must not panic”, Gonsalves said on Friday morning.
He said the oozing of magma can continue, or the possibility is, you can have an explosive eruption.
Troumaca is among communities that will have to be evacuated if an eruption takes place.
La Soufriere violently erupted in 1718, 1812,1902, 1971, and 1979.
The Saint Vincent eruption of 6 May 1902, just hours before the eruption of Mount Pelée on Martinique, killed 1,680 people.
The last recorded eruption was in April 1979; thanks to advance warning there were no casualties.
There is currently no evacuation order in place for any communities on the island.