Although the rumblings and gas spurts from the Piparo mud volcano are slowly subsiding, the Office of Disaster Preparedness (ODPM) is maintaining a safety alert.Over the past few days hundreds of people have been flocking to the area to look at the volcano which has been dormant for 14 years since a huge eruption on February 22, 1997.
Boyie Seeratt, who lives about 300 feet from the site, said:"We had over a 1,000 people coming here over the weekend. Many of them come with their families to see the volcano."I could have made some good money because they were asking for lunch and phoulourie."
Seeratt said officials from the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Unit, fire prevention officers and a team from the ODPM visited it on Sunday.He said following loud eruptions and heightened activity on Friday and Saturday, the volcano has become quiet.
"We are relieved because the last time it erupted, we had to run for our lives," Seeratt recalled.He said he and his family were on standby in case of an eruption."We already packed a bag with all the important documents. If we feel the place shaking, we will grab the bag and run," he said.Chief Executive Officer of the ODPM, Dr Stephen Ramroop, said his team was continuing to monitor it.
"The volcano is very silent and it is not talking to us at all. We are continuing to monitor it."We haven't called off the alert. The experts have said we should watch it until the end of tomorrow to see if it settles down," Ramroop said.He said it was seepage of surface water into the heated areas, not seismic activity, that triggered the gas spurts and rumblings.