The lead scientist monitoring the La Soufriere volcano in St Vincent and Grenadines recently visited the village of Fancy, and based on the destruction she has seen in Sandy Bay and Owia, residents in those areas will have to learn to cope with lahars.
Director of the UWI Seismic Research Centre Dr Erouscilla Joseph says those lahars could last for months, even years.
She notes the tremendous effort being done by the authorities to clear roadways and restore utilities, however, the scientist says it is evident that areas where rivers flow and even dry rivers where it may cross over into the roadway, will continually be impacted for a long time by lahars.
“This is something unfortunately citizens in the red zone, particularly to the northeastern side, will have to cope with and learn,” says Joseph.
She notes citizens will have to prepare themselves with periodically being marooned, temporarily cut off from public access until the authorities clear these areas when there is heavy rainfall.
Residents will also have to learn coping strategies like having enough supplies at home to last for a few days, staying away from river valleys when the rains come and not building on certain areas once the authorities have demarcated them.
Meanwhile, in her latest update on the La Soufriere volcano, Joseph says the team continues to see the same pattern being held in terms of low-level activity with very small earthquakes recorded in the last 24 hours.
Persistent steaming from the crater continues to be observed when visible and sulphur dioxide is still being emitted.
The Director of the UWI Seismic Research Centre says in general the La Soufriere volcano is still in a pattern of post-eruptive behaviour where things are steadily declining in terms of activity.