Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica Website
Thursday, 29 October 2020

 The Office of Disaster Management has released a statement on the situation which occurred in Soufriere on September 17, stating there is no cause for panic.

Based on information supplied by the ODM, the seismic research centre team determined that the recent activity in the Soufriere area is likely the result of a landslide in the area, followed by subsequent re-settling of the 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. The SRC therefore believes that a change in volcanic activity has not contributed to this event.

It is possible that the area may still be unstable and additional landslides may occur with continued steam degassing.

“The Soufriere area is noted for its hydro-thermal activity which is usually manifested as surface degassing primarily of steam. The volcanic origin of the soil in addition to the hydrothermal weathering in the area has created conditions favoring landslides. A visit to the area showed nothing unusual and there appears to be no cause for panic at this point. The ODM took photos and drone footage of the area which were provided to the Seismic Research Center (SRC). Based on the information supplied by the ODM the SRC determined that the recent activity in the Soufriere area is likely the result of a landslide, followed by subsequent resettling of a near surface hydrothermal activity  with associated strong steam degassing,” stated Fitzroy Pascal, National Disaster Coordinator at the Office of the Disaster Management.

Mr. Pascal says there has been no associated volcanic earthquakes recorded in the area.

“The SRC believes that a change in the volcanic activity has not contributed to this event. It is possible that area will still be unstable and additional landslides may occur with continued steam degassing. The ODM and SRC will continue to monitor the area. Public access to the area should be limited,” Pascal added.

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