As seismic activity tapers at La Soufrière, people wait to return home


Seismic activity at the La Soufrière volcano has remained low since the tremor associated with the explosion and ash-venting two days ago, with the scientists monitoring the volcano indicating that over the last 24 hours only a few long-period, hybrid and volcano-tectonic earthquakes were recorded with no further tremor.

The Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of the University of the West Indies (UWI) said in its latest update that since the initial depressurisation – a decrease in pressure within a volcano caused by the release of magma, gases or fluids during an explosive event – noted immediately following the April 9 explosive phase, the continuous GPS network has recorded a decrease in the overall rates of horizontal and vertical movement.

“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, the SRC said, adding that the volcano is at alert-level red.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has said that residents of northern St Vincent, including communities north of the Rabacca Dry River, will be allowed to return to their homes when the eruption of La Soufrière ends and the all-clear is given.

Gonsalves, speaking on the state-owned NBC Radio, said that there are persons who say that the communities in the Volcano Red Zone in the northeast, as well as Orange Zone communities in the northwest, should be abandoned and reserved for agriculture.

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