The La Soufrière volcano on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent erupted for a second time Friday, according to the country’s National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO. The second explosive eruption was smaller than the first one, which occurred earlier on Friday, according to NEMO’s Twitter account.
“Another explosion observed. The vertical ash column estimated to have gone approximately 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) into the atmosphere. We continue to monitor and update,” the UWI Seismic Research Centre, which is working with local authorities, said on its official Facebook page. La Soufrière, which has been dormant for decades, first started showing volcanic activity in December which picked up this week.
Dora James, director-general of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Red Cross, said the second eruption was ongoing. There have been no reports of injuries or property damage so far. Authorities have said it is likely that explosive eruptions could continue to occur “for days and possibly weeks.” The areas closest to the volcano will be affected by pyroclastic flows and surges, authorities said. Teams are collecting data to understand the pattern of eruption.
La Soufrière is located on the largest island of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines chain. Earlier Friday, the first eruption sounded like a “large jet engine,” and that there was a “consistent flow of smoke” from the ash plume. The volcano last erupted in 1979, and a previous eruption in 1902 killed some 1,600 people.