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Volcano site still closed to public

Published: 
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
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Visitors take photos of the Devil’s Woodyard mud volcano from a distance on Saturday. The New Grant volcano erupted on Carnival Tuesday and has showed no signs of activity since, but the play park facility remains closed to the public. Photo by:Rishi Ragoonath

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A small surface vent has started developing in the Devil’s Woodyard mud volcano which erupted on Carnival Tuesday spewing noxious gas and dirt some 20 feet in the air.

The volcano is still inaccessible to the public with police officers guarding the site 24/7.

In an interview, Stefon Harrypersad, a member the Geological Society of T&T, said the appearance of the vent is quite normal. He added that the GSTT team went back to the location on Saturday to continue mapping the site.

“From our observations, the area remained quiet since we last visited on February 14, with one small surface vent starting to reappear which is quite normal,” Harrypersad said. He said the possibility of another eruption has not been ruled out.

“The site must be continually observed by the relevant authorities, however, as there are no mechanisms to predict when these may erupt again,” he explained.

Chairman of the Princes Town Regional Corporation Gowrie Roopnarine said the Office of Disaster Preparedness is yet to clear the area for public viewing.

“We have security stationed there around the clock. So far, we are advising people to stay away from the area until the relevant agencies complete their tests,” Roopnarine said. The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) has also continued to monitor gas emissions from the volcano.

So far, there have been low-level emissions of nitrogen dioxide at the volcano. On Carnival Tuesday, the volcano erupted causing panic in the community. Three other eruptions occurred. Following the eruptions, geologists have started monitoring the Digity mud volcanoes in Penal, which shares an anticline with Devil’s Woodyard volcano.

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