April 14, 2015
NEMO commemorates 36th anniversary of eruption of La SoufriПre volcano

Yesterday, April 13, marked 36 years since the last eruption of La Soufrière volcano.

The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) will be joined by the Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of The University of the West Indies and the Soufriere Monitoring Unit (SMU) to commemorate the anniversary and to raise awareness of the risk and science associated with an active volcano.{{more}}

The volcano awareness activities will take place during the period April 13 to 28, 2015.

This year, NEMO will be targeting primary and secondary school students throughout mainland St Vincent and two communities which are likely to be impacted by an eruption of La Soufrière.

A community meeting will also be held in Owia on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 and in Chateaubelair on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 in the evening to look at the Revised Draft St Vincent and the Grenadines National Volcano Emergency Plan (NVEP), focusing on the alert and call out protocols, as they relate to response at the community level.

On Wednesday, April 22, 2015, NEMO will conduct a National Workshop to present the Revised Draft St Vincent and the Grenadines NVEP and a Desktop Simulation Exercise on Thursday, April 23, 2015 to test this plan.

The workshop will be a working session to outline the functions and responsibilities of the response agencies involved in a volcanic emergency and an orientation to the special provisions for Alert and Warnings, Transportation and Evacuation, Emergency Communication and Search and Rescue, as outlined in the NVEP.

The Desktop Simulation Exercise will provide the opportunity for response agencies to practice selected Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) using the NVEP.

On Friday, April 24, 2015, NEMO will conduct an Educational Field Tour to La Soufrière, under the guidance of Dr Richard Robertson, director of the Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of The University of the West Indies. The public is invited to participate in this activity.

Transportation will be provided and interested persons are asked to register at NEMO. Although La Soufrière has been quiet for some time, it is still an active volcano and can erupt again. Citizens should know where they live in relation to the volcano and in which hazard zone they are located. The 1979 eruption demonstrated that the volcano can move from relative calm to full scale eruption within 48 hours. This is a reminder of the importance of having a family emergency plan for your family to evacuate at short notice.