Officials in the Caribbean island of Grenada are warning ships to steer clear of an underwater volcano due to increased seismic activity that could indicate the start of an eruption at any moment.
On Tuesday, the Government of Grenada announced that the alert level for the submarine volcano Kick “em Jenny, located 8 km (5 mi) north of the island of Grenada, has been raised to ORANGE, meaning an eruption could take place within 24 hours.
With the increase in the alert level, ships and other marine operators are asked to observe the exclusion zone of 5 km (3.1 miles) around the summit of the volcano.
Alerts are issued by Grenada’s National Disaster Management Agency with technical support from University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center in Port-of –Spain, Trinidad, which is constantly monitoring the volcano.
Kick ’em Jenny, one of the most active volcanoes in the Eastern Caribbean, is about 1300m high, and its summit is currently estimated to be about ~200m below the surface of the Caribbean Sea.
Scientists, however, believe that an eruption is unlikely to produce tsunami due to the volcano’s location and pattern of activity.
Rather, Kick ’em Jenny is considered most dangerous for ships and boats since it is constantly releasing gases that can lower the density of the water, causing vessels to sink even if when not erupting. For this reason, the alert level is kept at a constant YELLOW, with a permanent 1.5km exclusion zone around the summit of the volcano.
Kick ’em Jenny has erupted 14 times since it was first discovered in 1936, with the most recent eruption occurring in April 2017.