Press release Public Entity Saba:
There has been some misinformation with regards to volcanic activity on Saba, circulating on social media. This serves to clarify that the photo distributed was taken on 13 March 2020, describing a dead patch of vegetation about 35 feet wide on top of Mount Scenery.
In direct communication and under guidance by the volcanologist of the KNMI, a team of 5 SCF staff was sent up on 15 March 2020 to investigate the area for a possible volcanic gas venting event, causing the vegetation die-off. No such evidence could be found! However, the KNMI instructed the SCF to continue monitoring the suspicious area. Up to now, no new developments could be recorded. Small scale volcanic venting events are nothing unusual and can be witnessed every day at the Hot Springs on the shore opposite Green Island. There is no indication of any cause of concern.
The person who shared the information was spoken to by his employer and also reprimanded by the police. It is everyone’s right to share information but also everyone’s responsibility to ensure that what they are sharing is legitimate and accurate information.
Again there is no cause for concern and we actively monitor our volcano. Should something happen we will inform you.
Freedom of information and speech? I’ve not read what was on social media, but the official reaction is strange. Blackmail by the employer or threats by the police? In the Netherlands? Usually in not so democratic countries.
I can imagine that some people can be concerned as for instance the Saban earthquake monitoring system posts doesn’t function all also – as can be seen at the knmi website.
On scientific websites it’s common sense that increase of CO2 or carbon dioxide could mean that new magma enters the volcanic system. This usually occurs at about the 15 km depth. At the surface this usually leads to dying of vegetation. And when in large quantities emitted it could lead to disasters as Lake Nyos (Cameroon, Africa) were 1746 peoplewere killed. Permanent monitoring and investigation is therefore necessary.
And when a sudden increase of SO2 or sulfur dioxide (usually at about 4-5 km depth) becomes measurable at the surface, this means magma has risen. Therefore close monitoring is necessary and that means something more than what knmi distantly does.
Primordial is honest and clear information to the people, not the kind that says: keep on sleeping.