A swarm of volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes at La Soufriere volcano started in St Vincent on Monday morning.
According to the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO), several of these earthquakes, which began before 7 a.m. (local time) are strong enough to be felt by communities on the flanks of the volcano.
“We have had reports of earthquakes being felt in Fancy and Sandy Bay. These earthquakes are continuing and we will continue to provide updates on any change in activities at the volcano,” NEMO said on Facebook.
This is the second time in just under two weeks that there has been a significant increase in earthquakes at La Soufriere, which has been erupting effusively since December 2020.
Last Wednesday, the lead scientist monitoring La Soufriere said the nation was “back into that sort of uncertain period” where it is not clear what the volcano will do next.
Professor Richard Robertson was referring to the elevated period of activity with the VT earthquakes between March 23 and 26.
“So, it means that we are back into that sort of uncertain period where we know it can change rapidly and it could possibly still go explosive or to could speed up in growth or it could stop,” Robertson said.
Robertson was speaking on a local radio programme during which Director of NEMO, Michelle Forbes urged Vincentians to prepare in the event of an explosive eruption of La Soufriere.
“…we cannot sit and think it is all over because we know we are in it for the long haul,” Forbes said.
“As I keep saying, I believe we are on borrowed time, the volcano has given us enough time to get things in order and we continue to basically prepare, think about the worst-case scenarios, think about the different scenarios, whether it can happen in the night, during the day and the different types of resources we will need for each event.”
La Soufriere last erupted explosively on April 13, 1979.