La Soufrière volcanic alert level lowered to Orange, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

La Soufrière volcanic alert level lowered to Orange, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has lowered the volcanic alert level for La Soufrière to ORANGE on May 6, 2021. The decision was based on a recommendation from the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (UWI-SRC). Entry to the restricted access zone by scientists will be permitted after evaluation on a case-by-case basis.

Roderick Stewart, UWI-SRC/MVO Volcano-seismologist and current Scientific Team Lead made the recommendation to the cabinet on Tuesday, May 4, during his update on the current activity at the volcano.

Stewart indicated that the recommendation was being made given that there have been no explosions at the volcano since April 22 and the number of volcanic earthquakes recorded has decreased significantly.

At alert level ORANGE the volcano may resume explosions with less than twenty-four hours of notice, UWI-SRC said.

In addition, lahars continue to pose a dangerous threat to the river valleys surrounding the volcano including Wallibou and Rabacca. 

Mudflows observed over the past several days have contained boulders up to 5 m (15 feet) in diameter. Scientists also observed steaming flows.

Access to the RED volcanic hazard zone is limited to government-approved essential work only. Conditions remain hazardous and the potential for injury also remains.

Featured image credit: UWI-SRC

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