CDEMA Closely Monitoring La Soufrière Volcano In St Vincent And The Grenadines

(CMC) – The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) says it is closely monitoring the ongoing situation at the La Soufrière volcano in St Vincent and the Grenadines, as the volcano continues to exhibit signs of increased volcanic activity.

According to the agency, an effusive eruption has been confirmed at the site and the threat level for the volcano has therefore been elevated to orange. An orange alert means that there is a highly elevated level of seismic and/or fumarolic activity or other unusual activity.

Based on consultations with the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) of St Vincent and the Grenadines, the CDEMA said its Coordinating Unit (CU) activated the Regional Coordination Plan (RCP) at 6:00 pm on December 29. It noted that through this action, the Volcano Response Plan and the Regional Logistics Plan were also activated.

The Regional Coordination Centre (RCC) was activated at 9:30 am yesterday to provide logistic and coordination support to the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM), the agency said. It added that the Caricom Disaster Assessment and Coordination (CDAC), Caricom Operational Support Team (COST), Rapid Needs Assessment Team (RNAT) and the Caribbean Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU) have been placed on alert and if activated, will be guided by the deployment protocols for operating within the current COVID-19 pandemic environment.

The Secretary General of Caricom and the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of CDEMA were briefed on the situation yesterday and a meeting of the Caribbean Development Partners Group (CDPG) was convened also to brief them on the status of La Soufrière.

The CDEMA Coordinating Unit said it will continue to monitor the situation in collaboration with the UWI Seismic Research Centre, the St Vincent and the Grenadines NEMO, and the national disaster management offices of participating states in close proximity to the volcano and will provide updates to the RRM partners, as necessary.

The CDEMA CU urged the public, all participating states and members of the Regional Response Mechanism to monitor the progress of this volcanic event.