The La Soufriere Volcano activity in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is better observed now after the scientific team from The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (UWI-SRC) increased its capacity to bolster seismic monitoring.
The equipment came from a recent donation of seismic stations and telemetry equipment from the USGS-USAID Volcano Disaster Assistance Programme (VDAP).
The donated equipment is being used to build four seismic stations and radios to enhance communications on the island. Three of the stations are solar powered installations with posthole seismometers, which are sensors designed for subsurface installation to optimise seismic performance while minimising the cost and logistics of site setup.
The fourth station is a spider seismometer — a device designed for rapid deployment in high risk locations where human exposure to hazards should be minimised, such as volcanic craters. USGS-USAID VDAP donated after receiving a request from UWI-SRC following the effusive eruption, which was first detected on Dec. 29.
“This equipment is needed as it allows us to densify the seismic network by placing them in locations where there are significant gaps and the spider seismometer will fortify the near crater monitoring,” said UWI-SRC Instrumentation Engineer, Lloyd Lynch. In the event of escalated volcanic activity at La Soufriere, enhanced monitoring should allow the scientists to alert authorities with sufficient time to activate appropriate emergency responses such as evacuations.
Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves expressed his thanks to the UGSG VDAP and The UWI-SRC stating: “The partnership between Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the Seismic Research Centre is vital in the monitoring of the La Soufriere volcano; the SRC is a tribute to our Caribbean civilisation.
“The contribution of the United States Geological Survey and its Volcano Disaster Assistance Programme to the work of the SRC in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is generous and deeply appreciated by our government and people. Multilateral support across countries in every area of human endeavour is the way forward for humanity’s further upliftment. Thanks again to USGS, VDAP, and SRC! We love you!”
The UWI-SRC in partnership with the SVG National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) continues to enhance the monitoring of the La Soufrière volcano and actively seeks partnerships to bolster not only the various networks but to engage in data collection and sharing to better understand the current activity and plan for any scenario.