The eruption of the La Soufriere volcano forces the evacuation of thousands of inhabitants from the island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
After almost four decades without activity, the crater expels large columns of ash that reach 8 kilometers in height.
The La Soufriere volcano , located on the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines , has erupted this Friday after almost four decades without activity. The expulsion of large columns of ash , which have reached 8 kilometers in height , has forced the island’s government to evacuate more than 16,000 inhabitants from the area.
Volcanologists from the National Emergency Management Organization have already warned that there is a “forecast of a disaster” with the eruptions expected in the coming days.
The island, in ‘red alert’
Volcanic activity has increased this Friday until La Soufriere has started to spit tall columns of ash that have already reached Chateaubelair and Petite Bordel , two cities adjacent to the volcano.
Orange alert level after expelling magma from a volcano in San Vicente
For this reason, the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves , has issued an order to clear the areas closest to the volcano, whose inhabitants will be found temporary homes in shelters or cruise ships: at least four ships of the company Royal Caribbean and Carnival have already been diverted to pick up evacuees from risk areas.
The order, which has immediate effect and seeks to protect the populations of the north of the island -which are those that are on red alert due to their proximity to the crater-, has forced more than 16,000 people to abandon their homes and move to other safe parts of the island or other Caribbean countries that have offered their help, such as Barbados or Saint Lucia.
“Antigua and Barbuda is ready to receive evacuees,” said Philmore Mullin , director of the neighboring country’s National Office for Disaster Services. “We are waiting for the authorities of San Vicente to notify us of the transfer, but we know with certainty that there will be no less than 250 people .”
La Soufriere is the only active volcano in San Vicente and has registered only five explosive eruptions since 1718, as indicated by the authorities, who point out that the most devastating eruption, in 1902, left more than 1,500 dead .