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Friday, 1 January 2021

The eastern Caribbean is one long chain of active and extinct volcanoes and the sleeping volcanoes are rumbling back to life: 100,000 evacuated from St. Vincent and the Grenadines as officials report seismic activity at once-dormant La Soufriere and Mount Pelee volcanoes

Volcano La Soufriere, credit, Wikipedia.

Sleeping volcanoes rumble to life in the eastern Caribbean Officials report seismic activity, strong gas emissions and changes to the crater lake of a once-dormant La Soufriere and Mount Pelee volcanoes.

CASTRIES, St. Lucia (Reuters) - Residents of the eastern Caribbean island chain of St. Vincent and the Grenadines were advised to evacuate their homes on Thursday after a volcano, dormant for decades, came back to life and began spewing ash. The government raised the alert level to orange for the volcano La Soufriere, indicating that it could erupt within 24 hours, and recommended people who live nearby should leave their homes immediately.
Steam, gas and a volcanic dome, formed by lava that reaches the Earth’s surface, were seen over La Soufriere, located in the northern area of St. Vincent island, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency said. St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which has a population of just over 100,000, has not seen volcanic activity since 1979. An eruption by La Soufriere in 1902 killed more than 1,000 people.

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Authorities on the Caribbean island of Martinique, an overseas territory of France, are also closely watching the Mount Pelee volcano thereafter tremors became more frequent last month, prompting concern among residents. Mount Pelee has recorded an increase in seismic activity since April 2019, the first activity since the end of an eruption that lasted from 1929 to 1932. Authorities on the island have said a new volcanic eruption could be dangerous. The simultaneous uptick in activity of La Soufriere and Mount Pelee is not linked, scientists said.

Taal Volcano Update No 4: A larger eruption, which is increasingly expected, could conveniently cool the global climate and cause "A Year Without Summer."

According to Al Jazeera, Volcanoes that have been quiet for decades are rumbling to life in the eastern Caribbean, prompting officials to issue alerts in Martinique and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as scientists rush in to study activity they say has not been observed in years. Mount Pelee is also active once again. In early December, officials in the French Caribbean territory issued a yellow alert due to seismic activity under the mountain. It was the first alert of its kind issued since the volcano last erupted in 1932, Fabrice Fontaine, with Martinique’s Volcanological and Seismological Observatory, told The Associated Press.

While the eastern Caribbean is one long chain of active and extinct volcanoes, volcanologist Erik Klemetti, at Denison University in Ohio, said the activity at Mt Pelee and La Soufriere are not related. Seventeen of the eastern Caribbean’s 19 live volcanoes are located on 11 islands, with the remaining two underwater near the island of Grenada, including one called Kick ‘Em Jenny that has been active in recent years.


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