Tuesday, 21 September, 2021


Explosive eruption rocks volcano on Caribbean island of St. Vincent

Explosive eruption at La Soufrire volcano on April 9 Explosive eruption at La Soufrire volcano on April 9
Bennie Garza | 09 April, 2021, 18:24

DANGER ZONE: A map of St Vincent showing the La Soufriere volcano, circled in black.

On Thursday afternoon, about 20,000 residents to the North of the island, in what has been designated the Red Zone, were evacuated as activity increased in the volcano.

Cruise Lines have started to respond and help the Caribbean island of St. Vincent as the government has issued an urgent evacuation due to an imminent volcanic eruption.

Geologist Richard Robertson said at 3:00 am Thursday, monitoring stations reported low-level seismic activity, with four different ones at varying times, with the latest at 10:00 am.

The earliest period that shows there can be an explosive eruption is NOW, the next few hours or days, Robertson says pointing out that the volcano could return to normal as well. And the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has tweeted that residents are being moved to safer locations.

"Right now, we would not be surprised for example, if sometime within the next 24 to 48 hours, there are explosions from the volcano that are much more significant than we have seen so far".

Robertson said this flow is one of the most unsafe things from a volcano like La Soufriere which is why people are moved off the mountain.

St Vincent's NEMO director, Michelle Forbes, said her team had been in discussions, at Cabinet, with various agencies to heighten preparation in the event that an evacuation order is given.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves pleaded with residents to remain calm at a news conference on Thursday, noting that the coronavirus pandemic made the emergency situation doubly hard to coordinate.

In a media conference today PM Gonzalves said he requested that T&T accept Vincentians into the country even if they only have an identification card as a result of the emergency. Gonsalves said that several neighboring island nations, including Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, and St. Lucia, have offered to welcome evacuees.

Mr Gonsalves added that he highly recommends those who opt to go to a shelter in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, an island chain of more than 100,000 people, be vaccinated.

An evacuation order has been ordered for the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, and Royal Caribbean has already sent a cruise ship to assist in evacuating residents.

La Soufriere has not erupted since 1979, and its largest eruption happened over a century ago, killing more than 1,000 people in 1902.

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