Tuesday, 26 October, 2021


'More explosions could occur': Thousands flee as volcano erupts in Caribbean

Another explosion at La Soufriere scientists expect more Another explosive eruption was recorded at La Soufriere at 2:45 p.m. Friday
Melba Vasquez | 10 April, 2021, 01:55

An explosive eruption began at the La Soufrière volcano in St. Vincent this morning.

The eruption followed mandatory evacuation orders from the local government.

The eruption column from the volcano was estimated to have reached 10 kilometres high, the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre said.

Royal Caribbean International's Serenade of the Seas and Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Reflection are on their way to the island nation and are expected to arrive later this evening to assist with evacuation efforts.

Officials planned to place them aboard cruise ships, send them to nearby islands or take them to shelters elsewhere in St. Vincent that are outside the danger zone.

The professor said one of the main hazards for St Vincent is pyroclastic flows where instead of material being pushed into the atmosphere, it collapses back on the volcano and goes down the mountainside and maybe the valleys.

"I hereby order as follows: 1) the evacuation of all premises in the areas designated as the red zone on the northeast and northwest of St Vincent and the evacuation of the area itself.and 2) the exclusion of persons, vessels or vehicles form such premises and areas, save and except for the goal of effecting the said evacuation", he said, adding that while the evacuation order would be published today it would take immediate effect. Roughly 5,000 to 6,000 people live in the affected areas.

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

He also said that he was talking to Caribbean governments to accept people's ID cards if they don't have a passport.

However, Gonsalves stressed that the cruise ships would only be transporting people to other islands, as they did not have enough personnel to keep people on board the vessels.

He said that Barbados and St. Lucia are willing to receive evacuees, but they will have to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

"I don't want you panicked", he instructed.

"More explosions could occur", she said, adding that it was impossible to predict whether potential explosions would be bigger or smaller than the first. "That is the worst thing to do".

The eastern Caribbean is a highly volcanic region with as many as 19 active volcanoes spread out across 11 islands.

La Soufriere volcano is threatening to erupt.

Those living near the volcano had started leaving their homes on Thursday via ships and by road.

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