Government which has sought scientific assessment on the Piparo mud volcano will say what “has to be said” on the suitability of the area for residency after getting the scientific information.
National Security Minister Stuart Young indicated this at yesterday’s post-cabinet media briefing. He was asked whether people should be halted from living in the area where the current volcanic activity is located.
The Piparo volcano had erupted in 1997 spewing mud extremely high into the air. Video from that time showed onlookers fleeing in fear with towering eruptions of mud being tossed into the air behind them. Activity, to a much lesser extent, also occurred in 2011 and last weekend the volcano started “acting up” again, but hasn’t erupted.
Yesterday Young, Works Minister Rohan Sinanan and Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein spoke about the current southern volcanic activity and recent northern flooding. Young said climate change and global warming are real as he’d noted higher tides than usual. Hosein left during the briefing to attend a meeting in Piparo regarding the volcano.
Young, who deemed it, “seismic activity”, added last weekend’s development wasn’t a massive eruption. He said one house was affected and immediately police and fire officers were at the area and evacuated the family and cordoned off the area.
Young who said there was nothing a Government could do to stop a volcano from bubbling up, called for people to exercise caution near the volcano, “There can be danger in going there. The scientists and authorities have said to stay away from the site. Piparo residents know not to go near where this activity is occurring in case there’s an eruption.”
However, he said people from all over TT were going there and “making it a scene”.
Young appealed for people to avoid the area since if something “happened “ and there was a massive eruption and people were injured, they’d be responsible for their situation.
Young also said some of the coverage and “noise” on the issue reminded him of the adage that “empty barrels (sic) make the most noise “.
He said Opposition politicians are making a lot of unnecessary noise about the issue, adding that most are untrue.
When last weekend’s activity began, he said he’d called for scientific analysis to be done and that had taken place. A private entity Touchstone was assisting and UWI’s Seismic and Volcanology units were also notified.
“So it was wrong to say Government didn’t have the scientific analysis and wrong to say it was left to the police. They were doing their part along with the Fire Services. Government has been monitoring this from the word ‘Go’. Minister Hosein was on the ground, the ODPM is in charge and we’re dealing with Piparo. It’s the empty barrels (sic) making the most noise to suggest that Government isn’t aware and not in charge of the situation.”