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Evacuation ordered

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Devil’s Woodyard volcano erupts twice

Hours after it began spitting gas, the Devil’s Woodyard mud volcano erupted before dawn yesterday, leaving residents cowering in their homes.

The rumbles and explosionsshook the community of Hindustan,  New Grant, around 4.20 am and again at 8.52 am. Some 40 people had to be evacuated.

The first eruption lasted for about 20 seconds before the heaps of volcanic sulphuric dirt began spewing about 20 feet in the air.

The second lasted about five seconds and went up about 10 feet in the air. The volcanic dirt, which measured about 15 feet in height, covered an expanse of three acres after the eruptions.

Fire substation officer Marvin Richardson yesterday called on residents to evacuate their homes and remove their vehicles from the area, saying this posed a hazard.

Despite the call, hundreds of people flocked to the scene hoping to catch a glimpse of the eruption.

Eventually, police cordoned off the area and prevented anyone from entering Hindustan Road.

Caretaker Premchand Boochoon said he knew the volcano would erupt since Carnival Monday.

Having been a witness to the last eruption in 1995, Boochoon said he became concerned when he noticed the cracks stretching from the crater to the walkway.

“It was bubbling up a lot more than usual and it was hissing. I knew something was going to happen and this is why I didn’t stay there last night. I went home and sure enough it erupted this morning,” Boochoon said.

Resident Tara Pooranlal said her family was liming on the outskirts of the Devil’s Woodyard play park until 1 am oblivious to the danger.

Around 4.30 am, after she returned home, she began hearing explosions like gunshots, followed by a loud rumbling which resembled the sound of an air plane taking off.

“It was louder than an air plane, much scarier. I realised the volcano was erupting. There was a hissing noise and the house began to shake. I wanted to go out and see what was happening but I was too scared.

This is not something you want to experience,” Pooranlal said.

The toilet area near the volcanic site sank a few feet, while the cobble stones from the walkway leading to the site were severely damaged.

Cracks developed about 2,000 metres from the bubbling crater, which looked as if it was swirling when viewed from above using drone photographs captured by CNC3 cameraman Ivan Toolsie.

The ODPM cleared residents to return to their homes last night.


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