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Volcano Glow Explained

The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) in St. Vincent and Grenadine has allayed the fears of locals and the island’s neighbours as images of a glow emanating from the volcanoes crater made its rounds around social media platforms across the Caribbean.

“There is NO ‘explosive’ eruption at the La Soufrière volcano at this time. La Soufrière continues to have effusive eruptions, as hot magma reaches the surface at extreme temperatures. This appears in the night as fire or a bright red glow above the crater. As the dome gets higher and closer to the rim of the crater this phenomenon will continue to be visible on clear nights,” a release from the official NEMO Facebook page confirmed.

The dome continues to increase in height, to spread laterally and to emit volcanic gases. The areas of most active gas emission were noted to be the contact areas between the pre-existing 1979 dome and the 2020-21 dome, as well as the top of this new dome. An extensive area of burnt vegetation was observed in the western section of the crater floor, extending outwards from the dome.

The volcano continues to exude magma on the surface and steam can still be observed from the Belmont Observatory. Persons living in areas close to the volcano should expect strong sulphur smells for several days to weeks, depending on changes in wind direction. The alert level remains at Orange.

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