Kingstown La Soufriere volcano released a massive amount of ash and hot gas early Monday in the largest volcanic eruption so far since volcanic activity began on the eastern Caribbean island of Saint Vincent late last week, with officials concerned about the lives of those who refused. evacuation.
Experts described it as a “massive eruption” that sent lava flows down the south and southwest sides of the volcano.
“It destroys everything in its path,” Eroskila Joseph, director of the Seismological Research Center at the University of the West Indies, told The Associated Press. “Anyone who did not respond to the evacuation must leave immediately.”
There were no immediate reports of injuries or deaths, but government officials are striving to respond to the recent eruption, which was larger than the first explosion that occurred on Friday morning. Nearly 16,000 people living in communities near the volcano were evacuated under government orders Thursday, but an unknown number remained behind and refused to move.
The latest blast is equivalent to that of 1902, which killed about 1,600 people. The volcano last erupted in 1979. Ash from the continuous eruptions fell on Barbados and other neighboring islands.
Children’s beds, tents, water tanks and other essential supplies were pouring into St. Vincent as neighboring countries rushed to help those affected by volcanic eruptions. At least four empty cruise ships have floated nearby, waiting to transport the evacuees to other islands that have temporarily agreed to take them, including Antigua and Grenada. All government seaport employees were required to report
Prime Minister Ralph Gonçalves said in an interview with local radio station NBC that his government will do everything in its power to help those who have been forced from their homes in ash-strewn communities.
“It is a huge process that we are facing,” he said. “It’s going to be expensive, but I don’t want us to just pinch a penny … that’s going to be long distances.”
Gonçalves said it could take up to four months for life to return to normal in Saint Vincent, part of an island chain that includes the Grenadines. The majority of the population of 100,000 live in Saint Vincent.
The pandemic is also complicating response efforts. At least 14 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported since the revolutions began on Friday, and everyone who goes to shelters is being tested. Those who have tested positive are transferred to isolation centers. More than 3,700 people in 84 government shelters.
In the eastern Caribbean Sea there are 19 live volcanoes, 17 of which are located on 11 islands. The remaining two are located underwater near Grenada, one of them is called Kick ‘Em Jenny which has been active in recent years. The most active volcano on record is Soufriere Hills in Montserrat, which has erupted continuously since 1995, devastating the Plymouth capital and killing at least 19 people in 1997.
I mentioned Coto from San Juan, Puerto Rico
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