A new swarm of Volcano-Tectonic (VT) earthquakes took place at the La Soufrière Volcano St Vincent, on Monday 5th April 2021.
(By Ernesto Cooke) – Professor Geologist Richard Robertson said VT earthquakes result from magma beneath the rocks trying to reach the surface.
He said if fresher magma comes through with more energy and more gas, it is possible that it would affect the way the materials are coming out.
“It could increase the way it’s coming out, or it can cause explosions to happen; VT earthquakes is one signs we look for that this volcano may want to go to an explosive phase”.
Robertson says this means the monitoring team will have to keep a close eye on it.
“It means that La Soufriere is telling us it wants to do something different; therefore, we have to be in this heightened state of alert and be ready to respond if needed”, he said.
Robertson said La Soufriere activities indicate that it is not happy with the conditions.
Robertson said that one of the things they are concerned about with the VT earthquakes is whether it changes the new dome’s growth rate.
“It appears that the magma is coming out more or less at the same rate; so far, things have not changed fundamentally from the last swarm of VT earthquakes”, he said.
The geologist says that residents must ensure they know which zone they are located in at this current time.
“If you are in the red zone, know the community plan, know your plan for responding, those on the volcano flanks will have to evacuate, know where you are going”.
The new swarm of Volcano-Tectonic earthquakes was located at a depth around 6 km below the summit of La Soufrière; they are slightly more profound than the Volcano-Tectonic earthquake activities recorded between the 22nd and 25th of March, 2021, which were located at depths from 3 to 5 km below the summit.
The largest Volcano-Tectonic earthquake was recorded at 2:16 pm on Monday, with a magnitude of 3.9. and was felt by residents living close to the volcano. Other VT earthquakes may have also been felt.
The alert level remains at Orange. The National Emergency Management Organisation is reminding the public that no evacuation order or notice has been issued.