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Caribbean govts notified about rumbling undersea volcano off Grenada

Caribbean governments have been informed of increased activity at the Kick em’ Jenny underwater volcano, but scientists say there is no immediate need to worry  that a potentially deadly sea wave called a tsunami may be triggered by an eruption.

The Seismic Research Centre(SRC) at Trinidad’s St. Augustine Campus states that “The UWI-SRC wishes to advise that at this time no tsunami warning has been issued for Grenada or any other neighbouring islands of the Lesser Antilles.”

The Centre further reported that authorities have heightened their alert level to Orange which means that residents and authorities on Grenada and neighbouring islands must take certain steps due to highly elevated level of seismic and/or fumarolic activity or other unusual activity. “Eruption may begin with less than twenty-four hours notice,” added the UWI-SRC.

The research center says with the shift from yellow to orange the exclusion zone around the submarine crater has been widened to 5km. This change of alert is in keeping with increased seismic activity which began on 11th July, 2015. A sharp increasing trend was observed during the 21st and 22nd July and between 1:25am and 3:00am on Thursday 23rd July, 2015 the most intense activity, an eruption was observed. Mariners are encouraged to observe the Exclusion Zone and not enter within a 5km radius of the Kick ‘em Jenny Crater. The UWI-SRC says it continues to monitor this volcano and will issue further updates as data come to hand.

The SRC says that on Thursday, July 23rd from 1:25am to 3:00am local time, a strong continuous signal was observed on instruments monitoring the Kick ‘em Jenny submarine volcano. Signs of elevated seismicity (earthquakes) began on 11th July and continue to present. For the period since the 11th July a total of more than 200 micro and small earthquakes, of varying magnitudes, have been recorded, with the largest, prior to the strong signal, less than magnitude 3.0. There have also been observations from divers of degassing occurring off the west coast of Grenada in the Moliniere Sculpture Park area. This activity is being closely monitored by The UWI-SRC and further updates would be issued as more information becomes available.

“All regional governments alerted through Disaster Coordinators and Venezuelan diplomatic missions. Grenada’s Sauteurs Observatory is now being continuously manned and there is continuous communication with the National Emergency Response Organisation (NERO) in Grenada The CDEMA Coordinating Unit has been monitoring the situation through information received from the Seismic Research Centre. The alert level was raised to Orange today and the Director of the SRC, Dr. Richard Robertson made a Press Statement Thursday on the volcano.

Contact was made with the National Disaster Coordinators of CDEMA Participating States in the immediate area.
Grenada has advised that the Kick ‘em Jenny (under water) volcano has been acting up over the past 3 days, and there are more activities today than in the past days. A scientist from the SRC has been deployed to Grenada to strengthen the seismic monitoring instrumentation network. An Information Notice to all Marine Interest in the area (as advised by SRC), and The National Emergency Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet today at 1:30p.m.

ii.St. Vincent and the Grenadines has advised that there are monitoring the situation and are issuing a press release. They have also advised that the Prime Minister has been briefed and an information notice has been shared with marine interests in the region. Saint Lucia has advised that they will be sharing a press release and are currently monitoring the situation. Barbados has been contacted and convened a meeting of emergency personnel to assess the situation and review their actions to address the situation. Staff at the CDEMA Coordinating Unit monitored radio, television, websites and internal email for information. The Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) has been placed on alert.

Authorities said the summit area under continuous visual surveillance and Scientists and emergency personnel within exclusion zones maintain continuous contact with the Observatory.

Vulnerable communities advised of evacuation routes and transport put on standby. – Local radio stations in Grenada, St. Vincent, Barbados and Trinidad placed on alert. – Public listens to local radio continuously for updates and visits the Seismic Research Unit website if possible. -All shipping stays outside the first exclusion zone (1.5km from the summit). – Non-essential shipping (pleasure craft etc) stays 5km clear of the summit (second exclusion zone). – Visiting scientists who are not taking part in essential monitoring are regarded as non-essential.

The Barbados-based Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CEDEMA) says contact was made with the National Disaster Coordinators of CDEMA Participating States in the immediate area.

A scientist from the SRC has been deployed to Grenada to strengthen the seismic monitoring instrumentation network. An Information Notice to all Marine Interest in the area (as advised by SRC), and The National Emergency Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet today at 1:30p.m.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines has advised that there are monitoring the situation and are issuing a press release. They have also advised that the Prime Minister has been briefed and an information notice has been shared with marine interests in the region. Saint Lucia has advised that they will be sharing a press release and are currently monitoring the situation. Barbados has been contacted and convened a meeting of emergency personnel to assess the situation and review their actions to address the situation. Staff at the CDEMA Coordinating Unit monitored radio, television, websites and internal email for information. The Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) has been placed on alert.

 ADVICE ON TSUNAMI PREPAREDNESS

  • If you live in a low-lying area – for instance near to the beach – identify the quickest way to get to high ground. Generally a safe area is considered to be at least 30m (~100feet) above sea level and 3km (~ 2miles) inland. Teach and practice your evacuation plan with all family members.
  • If you recognize signs of a tsunami – such as a strong earthquake or the sea pulling back significantly from the coastline – leave the area immediately, run for high ground and stay there. Move uphill or at least inland, away from the coast.
  • Abandon your belongings. Save your life, not your possessions.
  • Do not count on the roads. When fleeing a tsunami caused by a nearby earthquake, you may find roads broken or blocked.
  • Sometimes tsunamis may occur without the initial pulling back of the sea. In this case, a massive wall of water may be seen approaching land. If you can see the wave you are already too close to outrun it.
  • If you are unable to move to higher ground, go to an upper floor (at least the 3rd storey) or roof of a strong building. As a last resort, climb a strong tree if trapped on low ground.
  • If swept up by a tsunami, look for something to use as a raft.
  • Expect many waves. The next wave may be bigger, and the tsunami may last for hours.
  • If possible, stay tuned to a radio or television to get the latest emergency information.
  • Help injured or trapped people and call for help if necessary.
  • Open windows and doors to help dry buildings.
  • Remove mud while it is still moist to give walls and floors an opportunity to dry.
  • Check food supply and test drinking water. Fresh food that has come in contact with flood water may be contaminated and should be discarded.
  • Check for damage to sewer and water lines.

People should continue to monitor the releases from the local national disaster office.

Contact Details: The CDEMA CU 24hr contact number is +246 434-4880