Authorities at the Office of Disaster Management (ODM) and the Forestry Division have warned residents and visitors alike that they should desist from going to the Boiling Lake with immediate effect.
They also said it has been brought to their attention that people have been swimming in the lake as the water is now cold and they should stop doing so immediately.
The local authorities, together with the Trinidad-based Seismic Research Center of the University of the West Indies, say they have been monitoring a situation at the Boiling Lake for the past few days in which water levels have been changing, a phenomenon that has occurred several times since 1876.
As a matter of fact, they say the phenomenon has taken place seven times in the past recorded history – 1876, 1900, 1901, 1971, 1988, 2004 and recently on November 8, 2016 when visitors to the Boiling Lake reported that it had drained again.
“Scientists at The UWI Seismic Research Centre (SRC) have confirmed that changes in water levels at the Boiling Lake are not necessarily related to increased volcanic activity in the area or to geothermal exploration,” the ODM said on Thursday in a statement. “However, during these episodes, harmful gasses, such as Carbon Dioxide, can be released. Small steam explosions may also occur. The last such occurrence was December 2004 to April 2005.”
Recently photos surfaced of people swimming in the lake, a practice the authorities said should stop immediately.
“It has been brought to the attention of the relevant Authorities that people are swimming in the lake as the water is now cold. People involved in this activity should desist with immediate effect since the water can return to its original boiling state with little or no warning,” the ODM said.
Presently only officials monitoring the lake are allowed to visit the area.
“People should also avoid visiting the immediate area until the activity has subsided. Only officials involved in the monitoring of the Boiling Lake should venture in that area,” the ODM said.