San Vicente y las Granadinas | Continúan las explosiones en el volcán La Soufriere a cinco días de la primera erupción
Volcán La Soufriere vuelve a erupcionar en 42 aniversario de última explosión
Coincidiendo con el 42 aniversario de su última explosión, el volcán La Soufriere, en San Vicente y las Granadinas, volvió a erupcionar este martes.
Tras el estallido de ayer, el mayor desde el inicio de su actividad el viernes, hoy se ha producido otra erupción a las 06:30 hora local, informó la Universidad de las Indias Occidentales (UWI, en inglés), en Trinidad y Tobago, que monitorea el volcán.
El científico de la UWI, Richard Robertson, precisó que la explosión “no ha sido tan energética” como las anteriores y que para los próximos días se esperan “erupciones volcánicas clásicas”.
A su vez, la UWI detalló que la erupción de hoy estuvo precedida de “actividad sísmica” con períodos continuos y breves de movimientos sísmicos.
De acuerdo al servicio de meteorología local, las cenizas se están moviendo hacia el este en dirección a Barbados.
Barbados, al igual que Santa Lucía y la propia San Vicente y las Granadinas, en el sur del Caribe, debido a la gran cantidad y la densidad de la ceniza que ha expulsado el volcán estos días, están sumidas en una semi-penumbra continua.
Las autoridades no han reportado heridos o muertos tras esta nueva explosión.
La erupción La Soufriere la semana pasada, ha dejado al menos un fallecido hasta ahora.
San Cristóbal y Nieves, Dominica y Venezuela acudieron ayer en ayuda de la población de San Vicente y las Granadinas en medio de la erupción del volcán La Soufriere, que empezó el viernes pasado.
El lunes llegó a la isla la ayuda del Gobierno de Venezuela a bordo de un barco cargado con 20 toneladas de ayuda humanitaria, 68 médicos y expertos en desastres naturales, sábanas, mantas, comida, agua potable, colchones y paquetes de higiene personal, entre otros.
San Vicente y las Granadinas, con una población de 110.000 personas, no registraba actividad volcánica destacada desde el 13 de abril de 1979.
Una erupción explosiva de La Soufriere causó la muerte de más de mil personas en 1902.
NEMO: Explosions and ashfall likely to continue over the next few days
The pattern of seismic activity at La Soufrière changed again, with the end of the episodes of high-amplitude tremor 2-8 hours apart.
Three episodes of tremor have been recorded since 6 AM, two of them lower-amplitude and the third, at about 5 pm, was high-amplitude. The episodes continue to coincide with periods of enhanced venting or explosive activity. Small long-period earthquakes have been recorded since about 6 pm on 11 April. These were erroneously reported as volcano-tectonic earthquakes in a previous report.
Assistance provided by the coastguard today enabled a reconnaissance of the entire north coast of St. Vincent from Chateaubelair to Georgetown.
Observations made indicate that pyroclastic density currents (PDCs) had descended several valleys on the southern and western flanks of the volcano and had reached the sea at Morne Ronde, Larikai and Trois Loupes Bay. Extensive damage to vegetation was noted in an area extending from Larikai Bay to Turner Bay on the west coast.
No other areas along the coast were affected by PDCs, but villages located on the eastern flank of the volcano were affected by heavy ashfall.
The volcano continues to erupt explosively and has now started to generate pyroclastic density currents. Explosions and accompanying ashfall, of similar or larger magnitude, are likely to continue to occur over the next few days.
Alert level remains RED.
Eighty-five shelters with more than 3,782 occupants are now activated. Registration of persons who have sought shelter with family and friends is ongoing.
The National Emergency Operations Center continues to be fully functional operating on a twenty-four hour, around the clock basis.
NEMO will continue to provide regular updates on activities at the Volcano as they occur.
St Vincent PM makes impassioned plea for assistance for the homeless
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves today made an impassioned plea for assistance for the homeless as the authorities continue to put measures in place to deal with the impact of an erupting La Soufriere volcano.
Gonsalves, speaking at the daily news conference aired on the state-owned NBC Radio, said that there were many homeless people living on the streets of the capital and urged members of the population to assist in their care.
“You know we have had a few of them around Kingstown and the ash would be making life difficult for them and it is an important category which has been identified and we have to take care of all human beings.
“But I would say to persons if you know such individuals take them to a shelter please, help in that way, be a good Samaritan because a lot, a lot of people are stretched doing a lot a lot of things. So, I want to urge initiatives in that way also,” said Gonsalves, noting that the state cannot do everything regarding the disaster alone.
He said all hands must be on deck as the country deals with the catastrophe.
So far there have been no reported casualties as a result of the eruptions caused by the volcano that last erupted in 1997.
But the lead scientist, Professor Richard Robertson, who also spoke at the daily news briefing, said that over the past few hours the pattern has changed “slightly” at the volcano.
“What we have been having so far, we have been having these tremors during which you would have had vigorous activity, and often an explosion and sometimes a quiet period and you have them again.”
He said since late Sunday evening the pattern has changed where “you still having that episodic behaviour but the duration of the episodes and the space between them change…so the episodes have become shorter”.
He warned of pyroclastic density currents (PDCs) going down multiple valleys on the volcano and “what we can see they reach further down valleys than we have seen.
“I would not be surprised for example if when we go to check…that ….one went as far as the coastline,” Robertson said, noting that the PDCs destroy everything in their path including trees, homes and buildings.
Gonsalves also the water situation was also becoming a problem and that in some areas including the shelters arrangements have to be made for adequate supplies.
“Persons who are not in the shelters in the Orange Zone are having difficulties in some cases with food and that is something we have to address”.
Gonsalves described as a “double edge sword” the situation that could prevail with the rains.
“The rain coming is kind of double edge sword. The rain, for example, cleans up Kingstown, areas in the Green Zone and the Yellow Zone and puts a damper on the ash. But what the rain does with respect to the water supply, it takes it longer the system to be cleansed because the ash on the hillsides, when the rain comes, washes the ash …down into the catchment areas and into the rivers”.
Gonsalves said that this would delay the full resumption of services.
World Bank Provides US$20M for St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Response to La Soufrière Eruption
The World Bank disbursed US$20 million to support the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ response to the crisis posed by the La Soufrière volcano eruption.
The explosive eruption began on April 8 and has required the evacuation of 20,000 people from the high-risk zones around the volcano, both to other parts of Saint Vincent and surrounding countries. Explosions are continuing, and the falling ash is causing air quality concerns and interruptions in electricity and water supply.
“Our hearts are with the people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines during this crisis,” said Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean.
“We are committed to supporting the response efforts at this critical time when the country faces this new disaster while already managing the social and economic effects of the pandemic.”
The funds are disbursed from a contingent credit line from the World Bank, known as the Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat-DDO), approved in June 2020. The Cat-DDO instrument is designed to provide immediate liquidity to support a country’s efforts to recover from disasters triggered by natural hazards or a public health emergency. In recent years, the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has been making efforts to strengthen its preparedness and capacity to respond to disasters.