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Soufiere Volcano

3 May 2017

New vent at Soufriere volcano no cause for alarm

By St Lucia Times

The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) has said that the discovery of a new vent at the Soufriere volcano here is no cause for alarm.

The new vent was discovered about two weeks ago, NEMO Director, Velda Joseph told the Times.

“There is no cause for alarm with the system in Soufriere pertinent to that new vent that was discovered,” she explained.

Joseph said it was not a case where the volcano is about the erupt, as the Seismic Research Centre has indicated that there are other factors to be considered.

The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre is the official source of information for earthquakes and volcanoes in the English-speaking Eastern Caribbean.

Velda Joseph said persons were concerned that the new vent was a sign of activity within the Soufriere volcano because ashes were emitted.

According to the NEMO Director, a report of the new vent was made directly to the Seismic Research Centre.

Joseph said the Head of the Centre, Doctor Richard Robertson, has indicated that it was not a phreatic explosion but a ‘venting’.

A phreatic eruption is defined as a steam eruption without lava ejection.

Joseph quoted Roberston, who held a workshop Wednesday at the NEMO headquarters,  as saying that the occurrence was not unusual since at times volcano vents are blocked and emissions go through other vents.

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