The National Emergency Management Organisation, NEMO, will host a series of activities this month to commemorate the 36th anniversary since the last eruption of La Soufriere volcano.
Today, April 13th marks 36 years since the last eruption of the La Soufriere volcano, and NEMO says it will host the activities in collaboration with the Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of The University of the West Indies and the Soufriere Monitoring Unit (SMU).
A release from NEMO says the activities, which run from today April 13th to 28th, are focusing on raising awareness of the risk and science associated with an active volcano.
This year, NEMO is targeting primary and secondary school students throughout the mainland and two communities which are likely to be impacted by an eruption of La Soufriere.
A community meeting will also be held in Owia on Tuesday 21st April, and in Chateaubelair on Tuesday 28th April, to look at the Revised Draft St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Volcano Emergency Plan . The session will focus on the alert and call out protocols as it relates to response at the community level.
On Wednesday 22nd April, NEMO will conduct a National Workshop to present the Revised Draft St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Volcano Emergency Plan, to be followed by a Desktop Simulation Exercise on Thursday 23rd April, 2015 to test the 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 Revised Draft St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Volcano Emergency Plan.
The Desktop Simulation Exercise will provide the opportunity for response agencies to practice selected Standard Operation Procedures (SOP’s) using the Revised Draft St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Volcano Emergency Plan.
On Friday 24th April, 2015, NEMO will conduct an Educational Field Tour to La Soufriere Volcano, 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 Soufriere 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.