In Martinique, a section of the dormant Mont Pelée volcano collapsed last week, causing a mudslide, which resulted in many residents fearing an awakening of the volcano. The level of the Prêcheur River also rose suddenly. See Caribbean News Now for full article and video in which Valérie Clouard, Volcano Observatory Director, explains the reasons for the mudslides, saying that this type of phenomenon occurs on average once every ten years, and that the erosion of Mont Pelée is not the sign of an eruption.
The river has now subsided but residents are still amazed by the strength of the phenomenon. However, this kind of phenomenon is not uncommon; it occurs on average once every ten years, and the erosion of Mount Pelee is not the sign of an eruption.
According to Valéria Clouard, Volcano Observatory director, since the beginning of last week there have been landslides that occurred upstream of the community of Prêcheur and they accumulate on the slope and when there are violent rains, these landslides are dragged into the river. “We know that there are always deposits at the foot of the cliff and if we have abundant rains again, we risk having the same phenomenon again,” he added.
Several years ago, an alert system was installed in the river to warn whenever the water levels rise too much. While the recent landslides caused little material damage this time, the system in place must today be reinforced, Sub-Prefect Emmanuel Baffour said.
“Any system is capable of being perfected, so there are sensors that will be reviewed and will be returned to service in the coming days to ensure maximum safety to residents; these are slips that have existed for more than 150 years, the difficulty is that today was added a lot of water, that’s why all services intervened to ensure the safety of the population,” he explained.
In the meantime, heavy rainfall could still be encountered in the north of the island and parts of Mount Pelee could collapse again, so residents are advised to stay away from the river, which could overflow again at any time.
For full article and video, see http://wp.caribbeannewsnow.com/2018/01/16/video-mudslide-martinique-section-mount-pelee-collapses/
[Photo above of the Prêcheur River, from http://www.martinique.franceantilles.fr/actualite/environnement/le-precheur-en-etat-d-alerte-451167.php]