VOLCANIC GASES being emitted from the vent of the new dome within the crater. The area where the new dome interacts with the old dome also results in gas emissions and the brown vegetation is a result of these emissions. Photo credit: Monique Johnson / UWI-SRC.
February 9, 2021
Vegetation being affected by the acid rain at La Soufriere volcano

VEGETATION ON the western slope of the La Soufriere is being affected by acid raid.

The volcano, which began erupting effusively in December, 2020, has been producing different gases.

Last week lead scientist at the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Unit Thomas Christopher said that for the first time they have detected sulphur dioxide in the volcano’s emissions, which they knew should have been there but had not been detected.

Volcanic acid rain is typically dominated by hydrochloric acid and sulphuric acid arising from the plume gases and sulphur dioxide.

Yesterday, park ranger with the National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority Maxwell ‘Erasto’ Robertson said traditional marijuana farmers who occupy the western slope of the volcano in places like Morne Ronde, Larakai, Twalloo and Duvalier have been experiencing damage to their crops from acid rain.

St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is establishing a medicinal marijuana

industry and has given traditional marijuana farmers some leeway to farm this crop.

Robertson said acid rain affects all plant life and winds are carrying the rain and trees and plants are being affected.

He said many farmers are losing crops.