Life back to normal after Mayaro mud volcano eruption

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A villager takes a closer look at one of the vents of the mud volcano at Cascadoux Trace, Mayaro during a site visit by officials of Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation on January 12. – Photo courtesy Raymond Cozier

Life has returned to normal at Cascadoux Trace, Mayaro.

Residents who were evacuated last month after a mud volcano vent appeared nearby, spewing mud and gas into the air, have returned home.

Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation (MRCRC) chairman Raymond Cozier said they returned to the area days after the eruption. In a phone interview with Newsday, Cozier said the seismic team from UWI had said the volcanic activity had ceased. “They didn’t say to us that it is safe to return, but it is clear that nothing is happening, and from the tests, all they did there, it remains dormant. No activity is taking place: no eruption, no gases were coming out. So everything back to normal,” he said. Cozier said last week, 65 Cascadoux Trace and Kernahan residents were given Community Emergency Response Training in case an eruption occurred.

“It was five days (of training), so they went through most of the information that they would expect to see if anything is happening and what they should do, who to call, where to run to, identify different areas that they should go to, all the different agencies, the DMU (MRCRC disaster management unit), the Fire, Red Cross. So they had a good, extensive training,” he said.

On January 11, 11 residents were evacuated from Cascadoux Trace after a vent emerged near one home. That weekend, the UWI Seismic Research Centre and Touchstone Exploration’s exploration manager Xavier Moonan did assessments on the site, during which they discovered four additional vents.

At the time, Moonan told Newsday the assessment did not turn up anything unexpected, with the new vents showing minimal activity.”The investigation and analysis…did not find anything out of the ordinary or what should not be expected in this village, which sits atop a mud volcano.”The mud from various vents found shows that they are consistent between each other, and they align with a known fault in the area responsible for the location of the Cascadoux mud volcano.”

He said the new vents were all in areas where historically vents had appeared from time to time.

“The activity at these vents is minimal. There has been no fracturing, further development of cracks, swelling or tilting of the area or any other indicators of a possible immediate increase in mud volcano activity.”