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Townhall meeting on volcanoes this Thursday

Residents of Saba are invited to a townhall meeting on Thursday, April 15 to attend a presentation by volcanologist Elske de Zeeuw-Van Dalfsen of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Meteorology (KNMI) on Saba’s volcano. She will also answer questions from the public.

The Executive Council of the Public Entity Saba decided early this week to organize a townhall meeting where people can be informed about the status of the volcano and the volcanoes on neighboring islands. The subject has become very timely with the volcanic eruptions of the La Soufrière in St. Vincent, more than 500 kilometers away from Saba.

De Zeeuw-Van Dalfsen is currently on Saba, together with three colleagues of the KNMI, to construct a new Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)/seismic monitoring station on the North Coast to measure possible seismic or volcano-related activity. The KNMI advises the local authorities about the status of the Mt. Scenery volcano, and has been monitoring on Saba since the end of 2006.

In an interview early this year, De Zeeuw-Van Dalfsen explained that a volcanic eruption doesn’t suddenly happen: usually it is a process that evolves over a longer period of time which is accompanied by signals of the volcano’s increased activity. This has been the case on St. Vincent where the volcano started to show signs of increased activity last year.

The Saba volcano is and has been for a very long time on code green, meaning that there is no abnormal activity. Experts call this ‘normal background activity’. The fact that La Soufrière in St. Vincent has erupted doesn’t mean that the other volcanoes in the region will become active too. Volcanoes are not connected; they stand on their own.

During the townhall meeting this Thursday, residents will have ample opportunity to pose questions to the volcanologist and her colleagues of the KNMI. The townhall meeting takes place at the Eugenius Johnson Center in the Windwardside from 6:30pm to 8:00pm.

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