National Geographic : 1902 Dec
THE ERUPTIONS C mings stated to Mr MacDonald that the east-west diameter of the crater seemed to have been increased, and the saddle between the large and the small crater was more deeply notched than before. At about I a. m., September 18, there was a comparatively slight eruption of La Soufriere. On the following day (the i 9 th) Mr Cummings, accompanied by Rev. Mr T. Huckaby, of Chateau belair, again ascended to the rim of the crater. They found that the crater had been cleared of the ashes observed there on the 17th, and that it had been re stored to the condition of May 31, with a small amount of water in the bottom of a vast pit. Sunday, September 21, at 6 p. m., there was a violent eruption, which lasted but ten minutes in its vigorous stages. Much incandescent material is reported to have been thrown out dur ing this outburst, but this statement is doubted by Mr MacDonald on account of the red glow from the setting sun. The eruption seemed to come from the northwest side of the crater, and was accompanied by horizontally projected clouds. On September 24 there was a sudden eruption at about 2.30 p. m., which lasted about half an hour. The solid matter thrown out in this outburst must have been coarse and heavy, for it all fell to the ground and sea in a short time and the horizon was perfectly clear by 3.30 o'clock. Under date of October 24, Mr W. J. Durrant writes me, after mention ing the outbursts of September 18 and 21, that there was a slight eruption on October r at 6.35 p. m., and he then goes on to describe the great eruption of October 15, which he considers the most violent of the series. He states that the eruption began at 8.15 p. m. (the Kingstown Times reports the begin ning to have been at 7.45 p. m.) and continued in violence till 9 o'clock, when there was a lull. The volcano burst again into full eruption at i )F LA SOUFRIERE 459 o'clock the same night and continued in this condition till 5 a. m. The erup tion was accompanied by tremendous roaring and a magnificent electric dis play like that of September 3-4. The sand-and-dust clouds went to windward, depositing much material at George town and northward, while southward great damage was done in the Mesopo tamia Valley, where 12 inches of ashes fell. After the great outburst the vol cano continued in considerable activity, with minor eruptions, until October 22, when a moderately heavy eruption took place, which threw dust on Richmond estate and Chateaubelair. The en croachments of the sea upon the lee ward coast of the mountain continue, especially at the mouth of the Wallibu River. The Kingstown Sentry of October 31 contains an account of the ascent of La Soufriere made on October 28 by Mr Henry Powel, curator of the botanical station on St Vincent, in company with Messrs J. P. Quinton and E. W. Foster, visiting botanists, in spite of the con tinued activity of the crater. They ascended the mountain from the lee ward side and found the journey very difficult on account of the erosion which has taken place since the early erup tions. They found the crater more funnel-shaped than had preceding vis itors, but with boiling muddy water in the bottom. Hot ashes, which were steaming profusely, were piled several hundred feet high against the walls of the pit. Coarse gravel and fragments of rock covered the exterior slopes of the cone. The saddle between the two craters is still existent, and Mr Powel was satisfied that no eruption had come from the small crater. No stream of lava has been ejected yet. The rent in the crater on the western side has been enlarged. At 8.15 p. m., October 29, a loud groan was heard from La Soufriere, followed by a column of dark vapor, and further eruptions were feared.