Scientist Says There Is Uncertainty About How Long Eruptions Would Continue

Old And New Dome Destroyed, Large Vent Opens At La Soufriere

(By Ernesto Cooke) – On Monday 12th April, Geologist Richard Robertson said that patterns have changed at La Soufriere over the last hours. He said there are now four to five hours between explosions.

There have been about four pyroclastic flows since Sunday, with the latest at 4.15 on Monday morning.

“From the observatory, at Belmont, we saw the flows going down Into Wallibou and Rabacca and multiple valleys, one may have reached the coastline”, Robertson said.

Robertson said communities on the volcano’s flanks would have been destroyed once in the path of pyroclastic flow.

The geologist said the explosive eruptions have destroyed the pre-existing domes (1979 and 2020-21) and created a new vent from which the current explosions are being generated.

This large opening would either remain or a new dome would be created after eruptions cease, he said.

Robertson said fresh magma is being emitted in the ongoing explosions. However, there is uncertainty about how long it would go on.

On Sunday, Robertson said the instruments show that the activity at La Soufriere is not waning and told residents there might be a break and then a resumption of the current activity.

“The ongoing activity and pattern are similar to the 1902 eruption, it means that the eruptions will cause more damage and destruction, but it also means that you have a safe place in the south of the country”, Robertson said on Sunday.

On Monday morning, the island’s government said that all essential workers, including those at the seaports, were to report to work while persons assigned to shelters were asked to continue to assist.

All other employees of the Central Government and State enterprises were told to remain at home until further notice.

La Soufriere’s eruption has now added more woes to the island already battling COVID-19 and dengue.

 

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