Event Report

Base data

Event code GE-VAC/03506/VCT
Main category Geological Event
Sub category volcano activity
Event date (UTC) Fri, 26 Mar 2021 07:43:06 +0000
Last update (UTC) Mon, 19 Apr 2021 07:15:27 +0000

Geolocation

Continent Caribbean Sea
Country Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Administration area Guadeloupe
Settlement
Exact location La Soufrière volcano
Open Location Code: 778W28VP+9J
Size of affected area County-level
Additional events None or not detected.

Common Alerting Protocol Information

Urgency Past
Certainty Observed
Severity Extreme
Category Geo

Event details

The lead scientist monitoring the La Soufrière volcano, Professor Richard Robertson, says an increase in earthquakes at the site could suggest that an explosive eruption could happen soon. La Soufrière has been erupting effusively since late December and a new dome has formed alongside the one left inside the crater after the 1979 eruption of the volcano. The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) Wednesday warned residents of communities near the volcano to heighten their preparedness in the event that it becomes necessary for them to evacuate at short notice. NEMO said that scientists at the Belmont Observatory have noted a change in seismic activity associated with the ongoing eruption of the volcano. Robertson said that the scientists had always indicated that the volcano could continue effusing material for a long time, that it could stop effusing material, or it could erupt effusively. “And one of the things that will drive it to go explosive is fresh material coming in, new material to give it energy,” Robertson said, adding that the earthquakes which began on Tuesday could indicate that fresh magma is trying to make its way to the surface. “So this is the first indication that maybe this is happening. We have to track it to see if it is really indicative of that,” he further explained. He said that the material that has oozed out of the volcano since December could have been there since the eruption of April 1979. However, he said that this week’s events suggest that new material could be making its way to the surface. “This magma is deeper down, is trying to get to the surface, it’s trying to find a pathway through and in doing that, it is causing vibrations in the ground, which our instruments are detecting,” Robertson said. Since the effusive eruption began, scientists have installed additional monitoring equipment across the country and Robertson said that the information generated this week shows that the equipment is functioning as intended. “That is what they are set up there to do. They are set up there precisely to tell us if something like that is trying to come through and we are then about to track it to see if it gets to the point where it is going to get to the surface and that’s one of the reasons we have a monitoring network. We try to track that,” he explained. “So, in a sense, it’s probably not a good thing that is happening because it tells us that this eruption could go to a stage where we all really don’t want it to get to, but also, it tells us that the instrumentation that we put in is working; it’s detecting the events that could indicate something else that is nastier that could happen.”
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Situation update

According to the National Emergency Management Organisation, an explosive eruption was recorded around 4:49 pm. Ash clouds are now moving towards the south and west of the island. The alert level remains red.
There has been another "explosive event" at a volcano on the Caribbean island of St Vincent, with power outages and water supplies cut off. The La Soufrière volcano first erupted on Friday, blanketing the island in a layer of ash and forcing some 16,000 people to evacuate their homes. Residents in Barbados, nearly 200km (about 124 miles) to the east, have also been urged to stay indoors. Scientists warn that eruptions could continue for days - or even weeks. On Sunday, St Vincent's emergency management organization Nemo tweeted: "Massive power outage following another explosive event at La Soufriere Volcano. Lightning, thunder, and rumblings. Majority of the country out of power and covered in ash." White-colored dust has covered buildings and roads around the island, including in its capital Kingstown. Nemo is urging residents to "be careful on the roads, which have become treacherous as a result of the ash flow". Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said water supplies to most of the island had been cut off and its airspace closed because of the smoke and thick plumes of volcanic ash moving through the atmosphere. Mr. Gonsalves said thousands of residents had been sleeping in emergency shelters since Friday. "It's a huge operation that is facing us," he told NBC News. The Barbados Defence Force has been deployed to St Vincent to provide humanitarian assistance as part of a disaster response mission, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency said. Homes across the island, which has a population of around 110,000, have been covered in white-colored volcanic dust and rock fragments. It prompted warnings from officials to stay indoors, while emergency groups advised caution for those suffering from respiratory problems. "Be careful all. We are covered in ash and strong sulfur scents pervade the air. We ask that you take the necessary precautions to remain safe and healthy," Nemo said.
A second explosion rocked La Soufriere volcano on St. Vincent Friday afternoon, six hours after an eruption earlier in the day shot a plume of ash more than 6 miles into the sky that rained down on the island in the eastern Caribbean. The West Indies Seismic Research Center reported the second eruption occurred at 2:45 p.m. EST. It created a plume nearly 2.5 miles high. Witnesses reported a third eruption shortly after, but the center said it was ongoing pulses from the second one. The volcanic activity continued into the evening, with lightning visible in the ash plume. In an 8 p.m. update, the research center tweeted that a continuous tremor had been recorded for the past five hours. "The volcano continues to be in an explosive phase that may last several days to weeks," the center said. The explosions came less than a day after volcanologists warned of the potential of such a disaster and as island officials rushed to evacuate the thousands of people most at risk. The first eruption on Friday, at 8:41 a.m., shot a plume of ash more than 6 miles into the sky. Heavy ashfall coated the island for miles and reached the country's airport on the opposite end of the island nation, the country's disaster risk management agency said. The agency said low visibility due to ashfall was hampering evacuation efforts.
The La Soufriere volcano on the northern part of the Caribbean island of St. Vincent is likely to erupt, emergency officials have warned. Nearby residents have been told to leave the area. Authorities on the Caribbean island country of St. Vincent issued an evacuation order for some residents due to warnings the La Soufriere volcano could soon erupt. The volcano is situated 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) from the island's capital, Kingstown. "I have issued an evacuation order to all residents living in the red zones on the Northeast and Northwest of the island," St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said in a tweet. "All residents are asked to act accordingly with immediate effect to ensure their safety and that of their families," he added. A 'substantial prospect of disaster,' emergency management office warns. Gonsalves said he was acting on the advice of the island's emergency management office, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO). NEMO had switched the island's alert level to red following days of seismic activity and warned there is a "substantial prospect of disaster." A cruise ship was dispatched to evacuate residents who live near the volcano, although it is unclear where they will be taken to for safety. Around 110,000 people in total live in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. La Soufriere is the only active volcano on St. Vincent and is the highest peak on the island at 1,234 meters (4,049 feet) tall. The volcano had previously erupted five times since 1718, with one eruption in May 1902 killing 1,680 people.

Casualties

Number of dead: 0 person(s)
Number of injured: 0 person(s)
Number of Affected: 0 person(s)
Number of Rescued/evacuated: 0 person(s)
Number of Missing: 0 person(s)
Number of Infected: 0 person(s)

Event Specific Details


[Geological Event - volcano activity]

Overview map



Risk Analisys

Nearest marine ports Basse Terre (8.89 km), Pointe A Pitre (25.28 km), Port Louis (43.76 km)
Nearest airports Pointe-à-Pitre Le Raizet (28.39 km), Les Bases Airport (46.34 km)
Nearest nuclear power plant There is no known nuclear power plant nearby.

Country Information