There are certain hazards that can affect St Vincent and the Grenadines and some neighbouring islands should the La Soufriere volcano erupt explosively.
In the latest episode of UWI SRC’s ‘La Soufriere Today’ lead scientist and Geologist, Professor Richard Robertson, said in terms of neighbouring islands, the main thing will be ash.
He explained that during an explosive eruption magma breaks apart, fragments it into small pieces which gets pushed into the atmosphere and is driven by the wind to wider areas than the volcano itself.
Robertson said ashfall or ash fallout in areas outside of St Vincent and inside St Vincent in the northern part, could impact wider areas such as Barbados and St Lucia and potentially affect aviation traffic.
The professor said one of the main hazards for St Vincent is pyroclastic flows where instead of material being pushed into the atmosphere, it collapses back on the volcano and goes down the mountainside and maybe the valleys.
He explained that this flow moves very fast, is very hot, and is a mixture of rock, gas and various pieces of material and lava.
Robertson said this flow is one of the most dangerous things from a volcano like SVG’s own, which is why people are moved off the mountain.