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Volcano, La Soufrière, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Volcanic eruption Today: 5th April, 2021

We have this morning, professor richie robertson, who is the lead of the scientific team on ireland. Good morning richie, how are you good morning, i’m? Fine, thank you good and just to clarify we’re, currently in an effusive eruption, we’re continuing with an effusive eruption at this time, but i know today april 5th we have had some um volcano tectonic earthquakes occurring. So, can you tell us a little bit more about that? Uh, yes, um, since about 6 30 8 a.m. This morning, fifth of april we had a swarm of volcano tectonic, earthquakes, um started at the volcano. The numbers and magnitudes have increased um until about until about 8 30 and they’re continuing it’s continuing at a fairly steady rate. Um the largest earthquake so far in the swarm occurred at 9 20 a.m, which had a magnitude of 3.5 and it’s. It was felt reported felt by people living close to the volcano, but other meaty earthquakes that happened in this one. So far, some of them are big enough to be felt so it’s possible that people might be feeling some of the events and, in fact, as this form continues, you may have others that are bigger that could be fed. Now this swarm of vt earthquakes have been located at adapter for around six kilometers below the summit of the volcano um. This is slightly deeper than the vt activity, which was recorded on between 22nd and 25th of march. These were located at depths of about three to five kilometers it’s, slightly deeper, so that’s what’s been happening and and, as i might have indicated before, um this kind of activity seems to be the kind of activity that we in at the volcano, where, in addition to Having these dome replacement events as related to the demand medicine itself is coming out, you could have periods of volcanic tectonic, earthquakes, um and the storms of them could happen where you can have periods where you have lots of them happening in a short period of time And because with earthquakes, uh the process by which they’re formed involve a lot more energy it’s possible that these events can be felt.

Unlike the other events that people we’ve been experiencing so far, so it’s something it’s a period of activity. We know and people shouldn’t be surprised that happens now, it’s possible that these vt earthquakes could continue could get bigger, could get more and could lead to some sort of different kind of activity like explosive activity or fast adult growth, and things like that and therefore we Need to keep a very close eye on them. We need to be in a heightened state of a lot when they happen um, but at present you know we start at the beginning of one and it it’s probably likely that it might die out um before the end of the day. You know but it’s something to bear in mind, okay, so so i want to ask: what does this mean i mean? Does it mean that um in an exclusive eruption we’re getting closer to that or what what does it mean? This is our second sum of obtaining right now, yeah yeah. Well, i mean bt earthquakes. What people should bear in mind is that bts peaks are caused by and and we think scientifically, they’re, indicative of magma or multi material being the surface of the crown trying to get to the surface and what happens as this material pushes out. It has to crack, through the rock that’s, to break the rockness above it and when it breaks the rock it it sets up a vibration that we see npt, earthquakes.

So vt earthquakes are indicating to us that magma at in the last week, the one, the events that we had in 22nd, the 25th was between three and five kilometers. This one is six kilometers sort of magma around that kind of depth: there’s a pool of magma that’s trying to get you around that kind of there. Now why that is important is because we know we know that diffusive activity does happen in the amount when it’s there. It obviously doesn’t have enough energy to become explosive, it’s, just simply oozing out uh that’s more at the surface at the top. Now, if there’s fresher, magma comes in, that has more energy has more gas in it, it’s a possibility that would affect the way in which that material is coming out, that it could either increase speed up, which is coming out um, or else it could cause explosion. Sap so vp earthquake activity is one of the signs that we look for for indication that this is probably wanting. This volcano is one integral to an explosive activity. So what it means is that it means that we have to keep a cruise eye on it. It means that this volcano might be telling us it wants to do something a little bit different and therefore we have to be in this heightened state of alert when it’s it’s doing this kind of activity and and and and therefore be ready to respond if needed. Um, if it goes explosive, what should people be doing now? Well, they should be doing.

They should really make sure that they know exactly where they are. Yeah are you. They are in june red zone what’s what’s, your plan, what’s, the what’s, the community plan what’s your individual plan for responding. If you’re in the red orange zone it’s more than likely, you will have to evacuate, certainly the red zone, the people who are in the red zone, who are on the volcano itself. If it goes explosive, they will have to move south and by now they should know uh or if they don’t know already, they should start finding out. Where are you going where the shelters where or do you have a plan individually um to go to someone to stay with someone, so you need to have a plan in place in case it goes explosive, we’re, not saying that this is saying that it will now, But this is telling us that it could it’s, given us a little bit more energy, a little more indication that this vulcan is not happy with conditions and if volcanoes are not happy as this one is it’s trinali science it’s telling us that we really need to Make sure we have our plans and protocols and our measures in place to be ready to respond, so what people should be doing, educate yourself, listen to authoritative sources of information know what to do when to do it know who you have to listen to where you Have to go all of those kind of things plans, readiness, heightened state of alert, um other than that go about um your life as you as you would normally in, given that you live on a volcano on a volcanic island that that could be explosive other than That you need to be aware need to be prepared in case something nastier than what’s happening.

Okay – and i know you and the team would have done, of course, um some drone surveys of the crater last week and some other visits anything significant um that you quickly want to share on that before we wrap up well one of the things that we were Concerned about when we we had defeated swarms before is whether or not that affected the the system up there. What it has caused the rate of growth to change anything have changed and, and so far it doesn’t seem to have had much effect. They don’t seem to be coming out at more or less the same rate, we’ll validate that by by some measurements, the analyzing insurance surveys we did, but so far things don’t seem to fundamentally changed um from the activity that we had. You know if we have another swarm now, we would want to see if it’s made a difference because that’s one of the things you want to see how the stuff that is trying to come. True has it got true. Has it changed something at the top um? So far, not but it’s something to to keep looking at and keep checking on all right thanks a lot richie for the update and good luck to you and the team – and we remind our viewers and listeners that the nemo and the u.s is research center.

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