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‘Mainly ash falls’ will affect green and yellow areas of St Vincent


‘Mainly ash falls’ will affect green and yellow areas of St Vincent
An ash plume from an explosive eruption of La Soufriere on Friday afternoon as seen from a residential area just outside Kingstown to the south of the island. (Searchlight Newspaper)

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Kingstown – Residents of the southern half of St Vincent and those who have evacuated out of the danger zones are safe and expect to mainly be affected by ash falls from the erupting La Soufriere Volcano. However, those who remain close to the volcano are endangering their lives.

Lead scientist monitoring the volcano, Professor Richard Robertson of the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (UWI-SRC) gave this assurance today, while addressing a press conference, shortly after explosive eruptions began at La Soufriere.

“It is mainly the ash that will affect the green and yellow areas, not the things that will kill people like on the volcano itself, like the pyroclastic flows and surges,” he said.

The explosive phase of this eruption of La Soufriere began at 8:41 am and a vertical explosion plume which went up an estimated 10 kilometers (32 800 feet) was given off, Robertson said.

A second explosion took place at about 3 p.m., with the ash plume going about 4 km (13 000 feet) into the atmosphere.

A third explosive eruption was also recorded at 6:35 p.m. today by the UWI Seismic Research Centre.

“The batch of magma that had been trying to come up for the longest while is either right at the surface or quite close to the surface and overnight it punched through. And it has cleared the throat of the volcano. After the explosion, the tremoring and shaking went on for about 40 minutes or so . . . . It continued roaring for a little while . . . . After that, within an hour, it has got a bit quiet,” the Vincentian volcanologist said.

He however warned: “We would not be surprised if this continues for the next few days, next few weeks. We hope it is one of the smaller eruptions and does not go on for longer than that.”

“It is possible that we can have more explosions like these.”

He said it is possible that subsequent explosions could go higher and carry plumes higher in the atmosphere than the first one did. (Searchlight Newspaper)