La Soufrière: Volcanic alert level reduced to Orange from Red

The government of St Vincent and the Grenadines on Thursday reduced the volcanic warning level from red to Orange

St Vincent: The government of St Vincent and the Grenadines on Thursday reduced the volcanic warning level from Red to Orange after consultations with the Director National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) and on the advice of the Seismic Research Centre, UWI.

An orange volcano warning level means the volcano could resume explosions with less than twenty-four hours notice.

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Chief scientist Roderick Stewart indicated that the recommendation was being made since there had been no explosions at the volcano since April 22, and that the number of volcanic earthquakes recorded had also decreased significantly.

As a result, the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines also decided that residents of communities in the orange zone from Petit Bordel to Gordon Yard on the side of the island and all the way to Mt Young people near the RUBIS filling station on the Windward side of the island can return home and carry out normal activities.

The lowering of the volcano warning level to Orange means that residents who have evacuated from the Yellow and Orange zones can now return to their communities to be able to live in the comfort of their homes again and continue their existence. Residents who are now in emergency shelters from the following areas can now return to their homes.

Petit Brothel – Gordon Yard on the Leeward side of the island.
Communities up to the Mt. Young River on the Windward side of the island.

The communities of Chateaubelair, Fitz-Hughes and all communities in the danger zone of the Red Volcano remain limited.

Lahars (mudslides) still pose a dangerous threat to the river valleys around the volcano, including Wallibou and Rabacca. Mud currents observed over the past few days consist of boulders up to 5 meters (15 feet) in diameter. Scientists have also observed steaming currents, which are likely due to contact with and incorporation of hot volcanic deposits. Lahars can damage property and cause serious injuries to persons.

The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) advised the public that access to the RED volcanic danger zone is restricted to essential work approved by the government only. Conditions remain dangerous, and the potential for injury remains. Residents are also asked not to visit the La Soufrière volcano anymore.