An aerial reconnaissance conducted on Wednesday has indicated that there are no significant changes at the La Soufrière volcano since the previous day, when an effusive eruption was noted at the 4,048-foot mountain.
The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) said magma continues to ooze to the surface and the new dome has increased in size.
The executive committee of NEMO, which comprises technical officers from the various government departments, private sector and non-governmental organisations, met on Wednesday at NEMO’s conference room to activate plans, in the event that the level of seismicity increases and evacuation becomes necessary.
The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) has also activated the regional coordination plan as per the protocol, which corresponds to the orange volcano hazard alert level, to which the alert was raised after Tuesday’s eruption. Orange is the third highest on the four-level scale, with red being the highest.
The orange alert means there is a highly elevated level of seismicity or fumarolic activity or both, and that eruptions may occur with less than 24 hours’ notice.
In addition, monitoring systems are continuously manned, there is regular visual inspection of potential vent areas and continuous ground deformation and hydrothermal monitoring.
With the orange alert, residents of the northern third of St Vincent – from Georgetown to Fancy, in the east, and Belle Isle to Richmond in the west – have been told to prepare to evacuate at short notice, should such an order be given.
All residents of the country are strongly advised to listen to and heed NEMO’s advisories.