THE lead scientist monitoring the La Soufrière volcano, Professor Richard Robertson, Monday described as “dotish” and not an act of bravery, the decision by a man to climb the erupting volcano on Sunday.
“It is absolutely foolish… it is absolutely dotish to do that. People talk about bravery and to me somebody is brave when you are aware of the risks that you put yourself through because of some positive job or they need to contribute to society in a fundamental way and you still take the action to save your family or something like that,” Robertson reacting to the incident said.
“So you are aware of the risk. You know you could be killed or you know you could be hurt, but you still do it. That’s a brave person. A brave person is not somebody who goes up to the mountain, putting themselves and their parties at risk and the people who might have to rescue them,” the volcanologist added.
A video has been circulating on social media showing the man, later identified as “our guide,” going to the summit of the volcano which has been erupting since April 9 and has forced the evacuation of more than 16,000 people in the Red Zone area.
In the video, the person is seen without a face mask, taking video selfies at the smouldering crater and describing the scene, while a strong wind blows, and steam rises from the cauldron. He also captures video of a person climbing.
Robertson said that person “is not brave, to me that person is just simply dotish. I would suggest that action like that is not sensible. At this time I think for me, people in St. Vincent need to be brave, be brave to what we have to face. We have to face a country in which we will have tremendous devastation because of the volcano.
“We have to be very brave to face the circumstances. If we want to live in this land that is really beautiful, we have to deal with the volcano, we have to deal with the hazards. You have to be brave to protect your family that is brave.
“Going up the mountain at this point in time where you could be killed or where you could get people with you killed; or you could inspire people who saw you that is a sensible thing to do the same thing, that is not brave, that is dotish, that is what I would call it. I am sorry if I offend anybody with that type of language,” he said.
On Sunday, the volcano continued its pattern of explosions with the Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of the University of the West Indies (UWI), reporting that the episode of continuous seismic tremor generated by explosive activity at La Soufrière, lasted until about 9.00 pm (local time).
In its latest bulletin, the SRC said that following this small long-period and hybrid earthquakes started to be recorded again, at a rate similar to before the explosive activity. It said that this rate dropped significantly during the early hours of Monday. (CMC)