The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) says there is nothing unusual about the activities in Soufriere.
According to residents on Wednesday, a loud noise was heard in the area and what appeared to be smoke emitting from the earth.
In a statement on Thursday, Disaster Coordinator in the Office of Disaster Management, Fitzroy Pascal says that the Soufriere area is known for its hydrothermal activity which is usually manifested as surface degassing primarily of steam.
He also mentioned that the volcanic origins of the soil in addition to the hydrothermal weathering has created conditions favoring landslides.
Pascal said that an investigation was done one which showed nothing out of the ordinary, thus, there appears to be no cause for panic at this time. “The ODM took photos and drone footage of the area which were provided to the Seismic Research Center.”
He said based on information supplied by the ODM, the SRC team determined that the recent activity in the Soufriere area is likely the result of a landslide followed by a subsequent resettling of a near-surface hydrothermal activity with associated, strong steam degassing.
“There have been no associated volcanic earthquakes recorded in the area by the SRC network on the island,” Pascal noted. He added, “The SRC therefore believes that a change in volcanic activity has not contributed to this event.”
The Disaster Coordinator says, “it is possible that the area may still be unstable and additional landslides may occur with continued steam degassing.”
The ODM and the SRC will continue to monitor the area.
“Public access to the area should be limited,” Pascal said.