Effusive eruption happening at La Soufriere

By Demion McTair. Updated 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 29, 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

Kingstown, St. Vincent (ONE NEWS SVG) – There is currently an effusive eruption at the La Soufriere volcano in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Professor Dr. Richard Robertson, Director of the Seismic Research Center at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus, said effusive eruptions happening at Soufriere in 1971 and 1972.

He was speaking, via Zoom, at an emergency media briefing held on Tuesday at Cabinet room, by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.

He said that what is happening now is that a Dome is growing and magma is coming out the earth.

The geology professor said that no unofficial persons should be visiting Dome or the volcano at this time.

Dr. Robertson said that there can be a spillover of this Dome building activity to areas such as Larakai on the northwest (Leeward side).

The volcanologist said that it is possible for the current effusive eruption to move to an explosive one.

But, he said a lot more data will be needed to predict whether the current effusive eruption will become an explosive one.

The last explosive eruption at La Soufriere was in 1979.

Dr. Robertson said they are looking to see “if it indicates that” to give enough warning to the government to “take the actions that you need to”.

He said there was activity at La Soufriere since November 2020, but it was not at an unusual rate so as to inform the public.

He said there was a maximum of eight earthquakes per day which is not an unusual rate.

In an explosive eruption, there would be hundreds of earthquakes per day, he said.

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