Caribbean, Grenada: Alert Level Raised for Grenada’s Underwater Volcano


Published 8 years ago, updated 4 years ago

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Caribbean volcanic experts are warning of a potential eruption of the underwater volcano ‘Kick ’em Jenny’ off Grenada and a major risk to shipping in the area.

Officials at the University of the West Indies Seismic Centre issued on Thursday an orange alert, the second highest alert level which signals that an eruption could take place within 24 hours.

The alert level was announced on Thursday for Grenada’s underwater Volcano known as Kick ‘em Jenny, following seismic activity that started on July 11. The heightened alert prompted an emergency meeting among disaster officials, the Island’s Home Affairs Minister, the Director of the Grantley Adams International Airport, as well as health and environment officials, to discuss the developments.

A Researcher at the Centre Lloyd Lynch is assisting the Grenadian government in its response to the situation. He told a press conference in the capital, St. George’s, on Thursday that the renewed activity represents no significant threat to the coastal regions of nearby islands and there is also no need for evacuations at this point. “Our findings have shown that the major risk is to the marine community. Those boats that ply between Grenada and the Grenadines, because of the increased level of activity, it is now likely that, in an eruption episode, the system may have the capability to throw ballistics within an area of about 1.5 to 3 kilometers. For that reason, that area should be avoided,” he said.

Word of the alert spread quickly across the Caribbean, triggering tsunami fears. Lloyd says, for now, a tsunami is a remote possibility. Grenada’s Acting Prime Minister Elvin Nimrod told reporters that there are no immediate plans to evacuate residents of coastal communities. The authorities have also advised Grenadians to proceed with their everyday activities. “The National Disaster Management Agency is saying this pertains more to maritime interests, so persons on land shouldn’t be worried at present.

Kick ‘em Jenny is located approximately 8 kilometers north of Grenada. According to the Seismic Research Unit “on Thursday, July 23 from 1:25 am to 3:00 am local time, a strong continuous signal was observed on instruments monitoring the Kick ‘em Jenny submarine volcano. Signs of elevated seismicity (earthquakes) began on July 11 and continue to present.” Centre officials said for the period July 11 to present, over 200 micro and small earthquakes of varying magnitudes have been recorded near the volcano.

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