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5 Facts About The La Soufrière Volcano

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Here are 5 interesting facts about the La Soufrière volcano in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

1. It’s a stratovolcano

La Soufrière is the highest peak on the island of St. Vincent at over 1200 meters high. This active stratovolcano is located on the northern side of St Vincent. A stratovolcano, also known as a composite volcano, is a conical volcano formed from layers of hardened lava.

2. The last eruption was in 1979

Before the April 2021 eruption, the last eruption was in 1979. The 1979 eruption created a large ash plume that reached Barbados, 160 km (100 mi) to the east of the volcano.

3. It has a Pyroclastic Flow

A pyroclastic flow is a dense, fast-moving flow of solidified lava pieces, volcanic ash, and hot gases. A pyroclastic flow is extremely hot, burning anything in its path.

4. Ash Plumes can reach neighboring islands

Ash plumes from the volcano can affect neighboring islands including Barbados in the east. The force from eruption pushes a large amount of material high into the atmosphere. Ash and gases from the volcano tend to reach heights where the upper-level winds move in a west to east direction. As a result, Barbados in the east would experience ashfall after any significant eruption.

Image by Barbados Meteorological Services

5. There are 4 Hazard Zones

There are 4 hazard zones demarking possible safe and hazardous areas during a volcanic eruption. In order of diminishing severity, they are red, orange, yellow, and green. More details on each zone can be found here http://nemo.gov.vc/nemo/index.php/disaster-management/mitigation/49-news-events/press-release/563-volcanic-hazard-map-st-vincent

Image by The National Emergency Management Office (NEMO)

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