Swarm of seismic events at La Soufriere, alert level remains at Orange

By Admin. Updated 7:22 p.m., Wednesday, March 24, 2021, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

A swarm of low-frequency seismic events and volcano-tectonic (VC) earthquakes were recorded on March 23, 2021, by the network monitoring seismic activity at the La Soufriere volcano.

According to a news release from the National Emergency Management Organization – NEMO, issued on Wednesday, “starting at approximately 10:30 local time on March 23, 2021, the monitoring network recorded a swarm of low-frequency seismic events which lasted about 45 minutes”.

NEMO stated that “these events were different from previous activity in that they were also recorded on other stations”.

“These events were probably associated with magma movement beneath the dome, although their depth cannot be determined. This is the first time that such a swarm has been seen since the seismic network was upgraded in early 2021,” NEMO added.

NEMO also stated that starting at 16:53 local time on March 23, 2021, the monitoring network started recording volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes.

It said the earthquakes are normally associated with underground fractures of the rock mass and are commonly generated by magma pushing through the unyielding rock mass.

NEMO said the earthquakes were recorded below the volcano at depths down to 10 kilometers below the summit, the largest of which had a magnitude of 2.6 and were reported felt in northern villages such as Sandy Bay, Owia, and Fancy.

NEMO said the VC earthquakes happen from time to time and that the alert level remains at orange.

NEMO said no evacuation notice has been issued but that it is encouraging persons living in communities close to the volcano to heighten their preparedness if it becomes necessary to evacuate at short notice.

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