(Martinique) – The volcanic activity of Mount Pelée increased sharply in the period from April 23 to 30, 2021.
312 earthquakes without danger for the population were recorded, including 241 between April 27 and 29, and nearly 163 earthquakes on April 28.
The volcanological and seismological observatory of Martinique (OVSM-IPGP) mentioned a sharp increase in seismic activity of volcanic origin in its weekly report of the activity of Mount Pelée this Friday, April 30, 2021.
Characteristics of volcanic activity
As a reminder, superficial seismicity is linked to the “formation of micro-fractures” in the volcano.
The earthquakes were “ located inside the volcanic edifice between 3.0 km below sea level and 1 km above sea level ”.
Despite the increase in activity, the OVSM specifies that “the seismic energy released remains moderate with earthquakes whose average magnitude has remained clearly below 1. ” Indeed, no tremor was felt by the population. .
In addition, during this period, the OVSM recorded 13 hybrid-type earthquakes. Signals containing low frequencies indicating the presence of fluids (gas, hydrothermal waters) in the heart of the volcanic edifice were noted.
By April 30, 2021, activity had already significantly decreased although the seismicity remains above the baseline.
It should be noted that the alternation of weak seismic activities and strong seismic activities is common during the phases of volcanic reactivation.
The vigilance alert level remains Yellow.
Effects on the flora
According to the observatory, ” a main area of heavily degraded vegetation is still observed on the southwest flank of Mount Pelée, between the upper Claire River and the Chaude River.
These observations reflect the variable dynamics of the processes of magmatic and hydrothermal origin at Mount Pelée in line with its renewed activity since April 2019. “