UPDATE: Trinidad mud volcano declared dormant after 3 eruptions

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — The Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill (UWI) has declared the Devil Wood Yard mud volcano dormant on Tuesday even as it erupted three times over the past 24 hours spewing out approximately 100 metres in width and six meters in height.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (OPDM) in a statement said that “after continuous assessments of the site this afternoon, the UWI Seismic Research Centre has declared the Devil’s Wood Yard Site as dormant”.

The OPDM said that 40 people had initially been evacuated from the eastern side of the volcano, situated in New Grant, south of here.

“The UWI Seismic Research Centre and the Geological Society of Trinidad and Tobago (GSTT) are on site conducting assessments. UWI Seismic Research Centre has indicated that the flammability level is low. The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) conducted air quality tests and has found no increased toxicity in the area. Therefore, affected residents would be allowed to return to their homes,” the OPDM added.

The ODPM said it had received no reports of injury or structural damage to property at this time, adding “to maintain public safety and security, the Hindustan Road in New Grant will remain closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic except to persons who reside in the area.

*Citizens and tourists are advised to avoid visiting the area until there is official word by the relevant authorities,” it added.

Earlier, Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat said three homes had been evacuated, and there were cracks on the road in the area.

The first recorded eruption of the mud volcano occurred in 1852 and 30 years later. But it has been dormant since then with small cones emitting mud and gas over the years.

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