St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonzales has raised the alert level in the country to orange.
The UWI-Seismic Research Centre received reports of activity in St Vincent and the Grenadines that may be related to La Soufriere volcano. UWI Seismic research unit also indicated that it is currently monitoring the situation in collaboration with local authorities and had dispatched a team to the area.
The UWI officials noted that La Soufriere is currently going through a stage of effusive eruptions. No prediction can be made at this time if La Soufriere will move from the effusive stage to an explosive one.
The UWI Seismic Unit officials noted that activity has been taking place at the volcano since November, however, they were within the normal of seismic activity for La Soufriere.
On 27th December a hot spot was seen on NASA Satellite above the volcano. The image was in the middle of the crater and from since Monday the hot-spot or heat source has continued. NASA has also informed the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines of increased activity as of December 28th.
The officials further noted that there is an emission of magma on the northwestern side of La Soufriere where a new dome is growing next to the existing one.
Vincentians and visitors have been advised not to visit the volcano or surrounding areas until a further update is provided.
The following are updates from Press Briefing on the increased seismic activity at the La Soufriere Volcano in St Vincent and the Grenadines:
1. In early November, there was a report of increased seismic activity at the La Soufriere volcano.
2. The largest seismic event was a magnitude 3.3 on December 16th, 2020.
3. On December 27th, there was a hotspot in the crater as noted by a NASA satellite.
4. Earlier today, there was confirmation that there are emissions of magma.
5. There was an explosion of black mass from the pre-existing lake.
6. There is an ongoing eruption coming from that lake.
7. The mass is confined to the crater. The hazard is in the crater.
8. The steam you see inside is gas being released. If you are standing on the crater rim, you will have difficulty breathing. Please do not visit the volcano at this time.
9. If the eruption remains confined there will be no hazard.
10. Essentially, there is a new dome growing on the side of the existing dome.
11. There is an effusive eruption – slow emission of magma. It is not an explosive explosion eruption which is the more dangerous of the two types of eruption. There will be close monitoring as both can occur together.
12. More data is needed to determine if the effusive eruption will become an explosive eruption. There will be sufficient warning to evacuate if there is increased hazard.
13. The best-case scenario is a limited effusive eruption.
14. The dome is not growing; a new dome is being created. A new mountain is being created in the crater.
15. Stuart Young, Minister of National Security in Trinidad and Tobago has confirmed that approval has been granted for a team from UWI Seismic Centre to travel to travel to SVG using RSS aircrafts.