‘New swarm’ of volcano-tectonic earthquakes at La Soufrière Volcano in SVG

This photo taken on April 1, 2021 shows the dome continues to grow at La Soufriere Volcano as the magma fills the space around the old 1979 dome.
Soufriere Monitoring Unit (SMU)

The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines warned on Monday that a “new swarm” of volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes which began at the La Soufrière Volcano at 6:38 am continued at “a fairly constant rate” before starting to decline at about 2:00 pm.

“Activities declined significantly at 4:00 pm although small volcano-tectonic earthquakes were still being recorded,” said NEMO. “The current swarm of volcano-tectonic earthquakes have been located at a depth about 6 km below the summit of the La Soufrière Volcano.”

It said this is slightly deeper than those recorded between March 23 and 25, 2021, which were located at depths from 3 to 5 km below the summit.

Earlier estimates of these swarms were revised from 10 km to 3 to 5 km, according to NEMO.

It said the largest volcano-tectonic earthquake was recorded at 2:16 pm on Monday, with a magnitude of 3.9.

There were nine more volcano-tectonic earthquakes in the swarm with magnitudes of 3.0 or more, NEMO said.

“Today’s swarm of Volcano-Tectonic earthquakes were also much more intense compared to those which occurred during the period March 23-25 and contained many more small earthquakes, with an average rate of about 50 earthquakes per hour compared with 1.5 per hour in March,” it said.

NEMO said there were several reports of earthquakes being felt on Monday in communities close to the La Soufrière Volcano, such as Fancy and the town of Chateaubelair.

NEMO reminded the public that no evacuation order or notice has been issued.

It is also encouraging residents, especially persons living in communities close to the volcano, to be prepared “in the event that it becomes necessary to evacuate at short notice.”

In a March 27 announcement, NEMO appealed to the public to “desist from visiting the La Soufrière Volcano, especially going into the crater, since doing so is extremely dangerous.”

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