Scientist Says La Soufriere Eruptions Could Continue For Up To A Year

(By Ernesto Cooke) – Director of the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre, Professor Richard Robertson believes the series of eruptions from St Vincent’s La Soufriere volcano is the worst in over a century.

An explosive eruption occurred at dawn on the 42nd anniversary of La Soufriere Volcano on the Caribbean island of St Vincent.

The UWI SRC said La Soufriere commemorates her anniversary with another explosive episode beginning at 6:30 am and continued up to 8 am.

Speaking during the emergency update, Professor Robertson said it was still unclear how long the eruptions would continue.

Professor Robertson said although episodic explosions were emanating from the volcano, the plumes of ash were not travelling as high as on previous occasions.

However, he said the volcanic activity at present was “bigger” than the 1979 eruption. In fact, he said it was more on a scale with the eruption which occurred in 1902.

“This period could vary from a few weeks to a few months to as long as up to a year given past experience.

Robertson said it’s possible in this week given that it seems to be trending towards small and shorter, less vigorous plumes, that you may not have periods of so much ash, but that is not to say that in the coming weeks you will not again have periods where you have ashfall.”

NEMO the island’s disaster agency on Monday 12th April, said observations made indicate that pyroclastic flows descended several valleys on the volcano’s southern and western flanks.

Eighty-five shelters with more than 3,782 occupants are now activated, The registration of other persons who have sought refuge with family and friends is ongoing. The alert level remains RED.

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