(NEWSER) – Volcanoes that have been quiet for decades are rumbling to life in the eastern Caribbean, prompting officials to issue alerts in Martinique and St. Vincent and the Grenadines as scientists rush in to study activity they say hasn’t been observed in years. The most recent warning was issued late Tuesday for La Soufriere volcano in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a chain of islands home to more than 100,000 people. Officials reported tremors, strong gas emissions, formation of a new volcanic dome, and changes to its crater lake. The government warned those living near the volcano to prepare to evacuate if needed, declaring an orange alert that means eruptions could occur with less than 24 hours’ notice. La Soufriere last erupted in 1979; a previous eruption in 1902 killed some 1,600 people.
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