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Martinique Steps Up Vigilance Over Activity At Mount Pelée Volcano

TMR: Martinique going on alert – In contrast, see below Montserrat Soufriere Hills volcano report for week ending Friday, December 4 2020
Martinique – Mount Pelée Volcano

December 4, 2020

Experts in neighbouring Martinique are stepping up their vigilance as a result of activity at Mount Pelée Volcano and have raised the level of alert, local reports say.

Martinique 1ere  on Friday quoted Fabrice Fontaine, the Director of the Volcano and Seismology Observatory in the French overseas territory, as saying that the experts had urged a switch to a yellow level alert.

He said it meant stepping up vigilance including aerial reconnaissance.

Yellow is the third level of vigilance on a scale that has 5.

The next step is the pre-alert, in orange then the alert in red.

However, the Prefect of Martinique, Stanislas Cazelles, says the yellow alert is no precursor of signs of an eruption.

“This reminds us that Pelée is a living volcano. We are going to strengthen its surveillance. This yellow alert is not an alert for the population but for scientists”, he explained.

“We detected a reactivation of Mount Pelee. This is normal. On the other hand, we have absolutely no precursor sign of an eruption but it could occur on the scale of a few years or perhaps less, ” Marc Chaussidon, director of the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, was quoted by RCI.FM as saying.

Last September  51 volcano-tectonic type tremors had been recorded on Mount Pelée and the number has been increasing since November last year, local reports say.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory – Weekly Report

Soufriere Hills volcano view from Plymouth

27 November to 04 December 2020

Activity at the Soufrière Hills Volcano remains low.

The seismic network recorded five volcano-tectonic earthquakes this week.

Measurements of SO2 flux were taken from the helicopter on 01 December and 02 December. The average flux values were 337 tonnes per day on the 01 December from eight traverses and 172 tonnes per day on 02 December from eight traverses.

Due to the large size of the lava dome, pyroclastic flows can occur at any time without warning on any side of the volcano, including Gages from where they can travel rapidly into Plymouth. Tracks across the Belham Valley can be destroyed or heavily modified by flash flooding or lahars, and caution should be exercised crossing the valley during and after rainfall.

The Hazard Level is 1. There is no public access to Zone V, including Plymouth. Maritime Zones E and W are daytime transit only between sunrise and sunset (boats may sail through the zone but must not stop). Anyone who ignores these restrictions is liable to be prosecuted.

This report along with additional information on the Soufrière Hills Volcano and the Hazard Level System can be found at the MVO website: Old weekly reports can be downloaded from You can also follow @mvoms on both Facebook and Twitter.

Graham A. Ryan

Monitoring Data Summary

Seismic Activity (number of events)

  This week Last week Last 4 weeks (weekly average)
Rockfalls 0 0 1
VT earthquakes 5 7 8
Hybrid earthquakes 0 0 0
LP earthquakes 0 0 0

Last year (Nov 29 – Dec 6 VT earthquakes 9 14 10

Sulphur Dioxide Flux (tonnes per day)

  This week Last week Last 4 weeks
Average 255 326 n/a
Maximum 441 387 n/a
Minimum 147 209 n/a

Note: The numbers provided in the tables above are provisional and may be subject to change after further analysis of the data.

Posted in Environment, International, Local, Regional, Volcano0 Comments

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