Monday, April 22, 2024

La Soufriere in ‘state of unrest’

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Kingstown – The scientists monitoring the La Soufriere Volcano here are warning that it continues to be in a state of unrest even though seismic activity remains low since the tremor associated with the explosion and ash venting more than a week ago.

The Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of the University of the West Indies (UWI), in its latest bulletin, said that in the last 24 hours, only a few long-period, hybrid and volcano-tectonic earthquakes have been recorded and there was no further tremor.

It said that the seismic stations recorded signals from multiple lahars (mud flows) during a 12-hour period starting on April 28 and that “lahars seem to have taken place in all the valleys that drain from La Soufrière and caused considerable erosion and damage.

“Lahars are fast moving, dense mixture of rocks, ash and vegetation and water originating from a volcano. Some of these were hot lahars which were visibly steaming, having passed through hot volcanic deposits. So many trees were brought down by the lahars that floating logs are a hazard to small craft near shore. The volcano continues to be in a state of unrest,” the SRC warned.

It said explosions with accompanying ashfall, of similar or larger magnitude to those that have already occurred in this eruption, can take place “with little or no warning.”

The volcano erupted explosively on April 9, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people.

Meanwhile, the St Vincent and the Grenadines Christian Council said that it is thankful to God that there has been no loss of life during the eruptions “and also for the overwhelming responses by so many to alleviate human suffering and discomfort”.

“While we navigate the consequences of the eruptions, many are dealing with deaths in their families, job loss and job insecurity, loss of income, chronic illness and a host of other ills and challenges,” it said in a statement.

“We are convinced that God made us resilient.

“He made us with the capacity to navigate life’s challenges but even more so to learn trust and discover faith and hope. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming but God strengthens us through the presence and work of His Spirit and as he works through others.

But the Council said it is encouraging “at this time that every effort should be made to be responsible, reasonable, patient, understanding and compassionate, among other critical virtues, particularly in a crisis”.

“We are trusting that shelter managers will be responsible in the use of the resources entrusted to their care . . . .

“We are also trusting that NEMO would be efficient, responsible and accountable in their management of the resources (including human and material) under their care.”

Additionally, the Council said: “We urge that all be careful not to be too quick to jump to conclusion and post on social media. Take time to get and verify information. Where things are not at the best, work towards making better. Resist the temptation to get, get and get and be deliberate in thinking about others. Remember as well that godliness with contentment is great gain.”

The Council praised those who have been engaged in mobilisation, providing supplies, offering support and encouragement to those who have been displaced.

“Teachers have risen to the occasion . . . the vast majority have been wonderful in their efforts in shelter management and caring for the evacuees,” the Council said.

“The adjustments, understanding and corporation by those in shelters augur well for our potential as a people. Perhaps we can begin to think of our nation as littered with far more “capeless heroes” than we realise.

“We are praying for our nation. We are praying deliberately for the many who have been evacuated. We are praying for the many who are serving in the various areas and sectors of our society. We are praying for those who are most vulnerable in situations as these. (CMC)

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