La Soufriere emitting over 1,000 tonnes of gases per day

By Demion McTair. Updated 8:37 a.m., Tuesday, May 4, 2021, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

Over 1,000 tonnes of sulfur dioxide (SO2) is being emitted per day from the La Soufriere volcano, Scientist Rod Stewart said on radio today (May 4).

The levels we are getting are “above what we would expect,” if the volcano went back to sleep, Stewart said.

When asked by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves what the gas emissions were like during the explosive state of the volcano, Stewart said that in three or four cases it’s been above 1,000 tonnes per day and on other occasions, it went as low as 300-400 tonnes per day, based on the gas measurements.

Stewart said gas emissions of 100 tonnes or below are the measurements that would indicate a normal state.

According to Stewart, though the number of earthquakes at the volcano has been low since the last explosion on April 22, the large gas emissions indicate that the volcano is still in a state of unrest.

He said that since Friday, there has been no increase, no signs of any increase, reactivation, or pressurization at the volcano.

“We still have to wait quite a while and we really need to get a good look at the crater to work out what’s going on up there exactly and we’re not ready to say that the volcano has gone back to sleep yet but it is definitely in a quieter stage than it was during all the explosions,” Stewart said yesterday on radio.

“So, fingers crossed, it will continue like this and we’ll slowly start getting back to normal,” he added

Meanwhile, the scientist reiterated his statement from yesterday that people who evacuated the Orange Zone areas can move back.

He said the Red Zone still has to be a no-no area but the Orange Zone is okay.

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