La Soufriere recorded another explosive eruption Tuesday night.
The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (SRC) reported that the ‘large explosion’ began around 10:48 p.m. and the local emergency management organisation (NEMO) said there were pyroclastic flows down the eastern side of the volcano. Pyroclastic flows or currents are fast moving collections of solidified lava, ash and hot gases which burn everything in their path.
La Soufriere began an explosive phase last Friday, after springing back to life in December with effusive eruptions. The explosive eruptions have deposited significant quantities of ash across the island, especially in the north, close to the volcano. Heavy ash deposits have also been recorded in neighbouring Barbados and smaller quantities in Grenada and Saint Lucia.
The SRC is forecasting that explosions and accompanying ashfall, of similar or larger magnitude, are likely to continue to occur over the next few days impacting St. Vincent and the Grenadines and neighbouring islands such as Barbados, Grenada and Saint Lucia.
Here is the SRC’s Tuesday Morning Update:
La Soufriere, St. Vincent SCIENTIFIC UPDATE – 14/04/21 6:00AM
1. Seismic activity at La Soufrière, St Vincent showed a similar pattern to yesterday.
2. Small long-period earthquakes continued to gradually increase in number after the explosive activity at 6:30am on 13 April.
3. These continued until another episode of explosive activity started at 8:30 pm on 14 April.
4. This generated continuous seismic tremor which lasted for four to five hours.
5. After the tremor had died down, small, long-period earthquakes were again recorded, again slowly growingin numbers.
6. The explosions which occurred pulsed for >40 minutes and produced pyroclastic density currents (PDCs) which, appear to have gone down valleys that drain towards the Rabacca River on the east coast of the island.
7. PDCs are hot (200°C-700°C), ground-hugging flows of ash and debris.
8. Lahars (mudflows) were reported in the Sandy Bay Area on 13 April.
9. The volcano continues to erupt explosively and has now begun to generate pyroclastic density currents.
10. Its current pattern of explosions appears to be episodic (stop-and-go).
11. Over the past 24 hours the time between each explosion has increased.
12. Explosions and accompanying ashfall, of similar or larger magnitude, are likely to continue to occur over the next few days impacting St. Vincent and neighbouring islands such as Barbados, Grenada, Saint Lucia.
13. The volcano is at alert level Red