Mt. Pelee in Martinique. Landslides, dome sinking, heavy sludge flows – experts say it’s not a result of volcanic activity but with all the seismic activity in the region dem days, tsunami warning and all, a collapsing dome could trigger something on an island with a history of volcanic activity that sits on an active fault line – analysis BY Roger Burney
The mudflows are due to recent heavy rains on the island. The river Prêcheur is to the north of the island of Martinique and located between Mount Pelée and the extinct Mont Conil volcanoes.
The island has experienced occurrences of lahar in previous years; and a more recent occurrence was on June 19, 2010, where twenty houses near the Prêcheur river had been impacted without causing loss of life.
Pyroclastic flows, on the other hand, are a fast-moving current of hot gas and volcanic matter made up of a high-density mix of hot lava blocks, pumice, ash and volcanic gas. They move at very high speed down volcanic slopes, typically following valleys.
The state service in Martinique (The Volcanic and Seismological Observatory of Martinique) has set up an active intelligence unit to monitor the development of the phenomenon.