At least 40 people have been evacuated from New Grant after a mud volcano erupted three times on Tuesday at Devil’s Woodyard nature preserve near Princes Town in Trinidad.
This is the third recorded eruption of the mud volcano in the island nation since 1882, 30 years after the first eruption in 1852. The mud volcano emits mud and gas which can be toxic.
No one was injured after the eruption and cracks were visible on the roads and lands in the town, says Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat who advised citizens against visiting the volcano site.
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Trinidadian security officials, the Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill (UWI), the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) and the UWI Seismic Research Centre and the Geological Society of Trinidad and Tobago (GSTT) were at the scene to assess the situation.
They declared the Devil’s Wood Yard Site as dormant, flammability level is low, and no increased toxicity in the area, reports local news portal the Trinidad and Tobago Express.
They assured that the affected residents will be allowed to return soon but the Hindustan Road in New Grant will remain closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic except to persons who reside in the area.
Mud volcano or mud dome is a landform created by the eruption of mud, water and gases. They are not true igneous volcanoes as they do not produce lava and are not necessarily driven by magmatic activity.
They are formed as hot water, which has been heated deep below the earth’s surface, begins to mix and blend with mineral deposits in the ground. This creates the mud slurry. It is then forced out of the ground due to pressure imbalances in the ground.