Vincentians living near the flanks of the La Soufriere volcano in St Vincent and the Grenadines are in no more harm right now than they were at the start of the eruption in December 2020.
This was stated by lead scientist, UWI-SRC Volcanologist Dr Thomas Christopher during his weekly update ‘La Soufriere Today’ with the UWI-SRC.
Giving an update on the status of the volcano following a survey of the dome last Friday, Dr Christopher said the volcano eruption is progressing but the danger has not increased to the population living in surrounding areas of the volcano, as the dome is still contained.
He said: “There is no danger of any explosion as the growth rate is quite slow. As far as we are concerned an eruption is an annoying one but it is not threatening the lives of people on the flanks of the volcano right now. The only danger it poses is for persons who go up the summit and choose to go down into the crater.”
The volcanologist also discussed the significance of rockfalls.
Dr Christopher explained that if the dome grows slowly, rockfalls will not be featured as much as there will not be enough instability, however, if the growth rate were to pick up, more rockfalls would be seen.
He said monitoring the rate at which rockfalls occur is a good way of having an idea of how fast the dome may be growing.
The volcanologist also made it clear that the occurrence of rockfalls does not indicate an explosive eruption of any kind, it just means the dome is growing.
Since the effusive eruption of La Soufriere began, a few seismometers have been installed. A seismometer is a device used to detect seismic waves generated by earthquakes.
St Vincent and the Grenadines how has a network of seismometers which are being used to pick up any ground vibrations whether they be earthquakes or rockfalls.