La Soufriere seismic activity continues, court orders two men to stay out of Red Zone
Kingstown – Scientists monitoring the La Soufriere volcano in St Vincent on Tuesday said that seismic activity is continuing along the pattern established after the explosive activity last weekend.
The Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of the University of the West Indies (UWI) in its latest bulletin said that following the explosive activity last Saturday, “small long-period and hybrid earthquakes continued to be recorded” and that two rockfalls were also recorded.
But the SRC said that no volcano-tectonic earthquakes or tremor have been recorded in the last 12 hours and that the seismic station at Bamboo Range on the eastern side of the volcano recorded the signal from a lahar (mudflow) at 4 a.m., which lasted for about 30 minutes and may have flowed along a valley on the south-eastern side of the volcano.
“The volcano continues to erupt. Its pattern of seismic activity over the last few days is typical of the growth and destruction of lava domes. Explosions with accompanying ashfall, of similar or larger magnitude, can occur with little or no warning and persons are advised to stay out of the red zone,” the SRC said.
The Centre warned that “the volcano remains at alert level Red”.
The volcano began explosive eruptions on April 9, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people and destroying farming lands, buildings and livestock.
Meanwhile, two men accused of committing separate burglaries in the volcano Red Zone in northeastern St Vincent have been barred from returning to their home villages, without the permission of the court, until the all-clear is given.
Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett imposed the ban on Kim Hoyte and Kenny Nanton, on Monday, when they each appeared, separately, before the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court.
Nanton pleaded not guilty to a charge that between April 9 and 15, he unlawfully entered the liquor and provision shop of Kenroy Williams as a trespasser and stole a quantity of items, valued at EC$905.
The items included canned fish, meat, and sausages, biscuits, crackers, 11 bottles of liquor, nine bottles of energy drink and three bottles of stout.
Hoyte pleaded similarly to a charge that on April 13, with intent to commit the offence of burglary, he did an act which was more than merely preparatory to the commission of the offence.
Magistrate Burnett granted Hoyte bail in the sum of EC$2 000 with one surety and ordered him to report to the Colonarie Police Station once a week.
The senior magistrate told Hoyte that while there is a presumption of innocence, the court was concerned that he was returning to Sandy Bay in light of the charge brought against him. He noted that the authorities have ordered people to leave the Red Zone and Hoyte was saying he was going back there.
“It’s your call. I am not telling you to be or not to be or do or not to do. I am just telling you I am concerned,” Burnett said, adjourning the case until April 26
Meanwhile, Nanton, who was arraigned immediately after Hoyte, had initially told the court that he was “guilty with an explanation”.
He said he was in De Volet — an area known for marijuana cultivation close to La Soufriere — when the volcano erupted on April 9. Nanton said he walked to his grandmother’s house and then he remembered they have a shop.
Nanton said he took one bottle of strong rum, three tins of beef, and tins of sausages and three packs of biscuits.
“I did not take all of these items,” Nanton told the court, adding “what would I do with all these items?”
On hearing the man’s explanation, prosecutor Rose-Ann Richardson told the court that the matter should go to trial.
The court recorded a not guilty plea. While Richardson did not object to bail, the Crown’s concern is where Nanton would live, considering he had been ordered out of the emergency shelter.
Nanton was granted EC$2 000 bail with one surety and was ordered to report to the Central Police Station once a week. The matter was also adjourned until April 26.
“Which is my birthday,” Nanton said, to which the magistrate responded “that’s better, you’d remember”. (CMC)