(By Ernesto Cooke) – The Southern Caribbean island of St Vincent would experience lahars from the 2021 La Soufriere eruption for a long time.
Scientist Richard Robertson said that those in the Red Zone or North of the island would experience lahars well into the 2022 rainy season.
Robertson said the team has spoken to the government extensively about the potential for lahar damage.
“Yes, the potential for damage and destruction from lahars would continue in St Vincent for quite a long time. And when I say a long time, I would estimate not just this rainy season, but up to 2022”.
Robertson says there is a lot of materials on the hillside of La Soufriere that will be mobilised and potentially cause damage during the rainy season.
The scientist said in terms of the effect on the southern communities of St Vincent, there would be minimal or none at all.
“Largely, it is going to affect areas on the volcano, and I will guess at most if it affects any area in the South it would depend on if there were heavy deposits of ash”.
Robertson says so far, the area with the highest concentration of ash is on the volcano itself, and significant amounts in some communities on the East and West of La Soufriere.
“I expect a place like Chateaubelair, Petit Bordel and also Georgetown may have some damage from lahars because of the amount of ash that has been on the mountains nearby”.
A lahar is a violent type of mudflow or debris flow composed of a slurry of pyroclastic material, rocky debris and water. The material flows down from a volcano, typically along a river valley.
The UWI Seismic Unit said explosions with accompanying ashfall of similar or larger magnitude could occur with little or no warning impacting St. Vincent and neighbouring islands.
The volcano is at alert level Red.