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Seismic activity at Soufriere changes again

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THE FOLLOWING is bulletin #59 issued at 8.00pm yesterday, April 12 by the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO).

1. The pattern of seismic activity at La Soufrière changed again, with the end of the episodes of high-amplitude tremor 2-8 hours apart. 2. Three episodes of tremor have been recorded since 6am, two of them lower-amplitude and the third, at about 5pm, was high-amplitude. The episodes continue to coincide with periods of enhanced venting or explosive activity. Small long-period earthquakes have been recorded since about 6pm on 11 April. These were erroneously reported as volcano-tectonic earthquakes in a previous report.

3. Assistance provided by the coastguard today enabled a reconnaissance of the entire north coast of St. Vincent from Chateaubelair to Georgetown. Observations made indicate that pyroclastic density currents (PDCs) had descended several valleys on the southern and western flanks of the volcano and had reached the sea at Morne Ronde, Larikai and Trois Loupes Bay. Extensive damage to vegetation was noted in an area extending from Larikai Bay to Turner Bay on the west coast.

4. No other areas along the coast were affected by PDCs, but villages located on the eastern flank of the volcano were affected by heavy ashfall.

5. The volcano continues to erupt explosively and has now started to generate pyroclastic density currents. Explosions and accompanying ashfall, of similar or larger magnitude, are likely to continue to occur over the next few days.

6. Alert level remains RED. 7. Eighty-five shelters with more than 3,782 occupants are now activated. Registration of persons who have sought shelter with family and friends is ongoing.

8. The National Emergency Operations Center continues to be fully functional operating on a twenty-four hour, around the clock basis.

9. NEMO will continue to provide regular updates on activities at the Volcano as they occur.

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