Roommates, as you may remember, we recently reported that a volcano named La Soufrière erupted on the island of St. Vincent. Well, it seems like the situation may be worsening for people located on and near the Caribbean island. About 20,000 people have been displaced by the ongoing volcanic eruptions, including 4,000 staying in shelters around St. Vincent, according to NBC News. No deaths nor injuries have been reported as of yet.
The eruptions started last Friday evening sending ash six miles high into the air. The ash then cascaded and covered St. Vincent and neighboring islands, such as the Grenadines and Barbados. This is reportedly the first time since 1979 that the volcano has erupted.
However, this morning people remaining on the island experienced the biggest eruption yet. Now, officials are warning that the situation may be ongoing.
“The La Soufrière volcano continues to erupt explosively and has now begun to generate pyroclastic density currents,” St. Vincent & the Grenadines’ National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) wrote on Facebook. “Explosions and accompanying ashfall, of similar or larger magnitude, are likely to continue to occur over the next few days.”
The dangerous eruptions aren’t the only cause for concern, reports shared by Town and Country Magazine say. St. Vincent is facing water, food, and hygiene supply shortages given the excessive ash. Destruction has moved beyond homes and businesses to farms, forests and livestock. Inbound and outbound regional flights have been canceled and there are limited transportation options due to visibility issues.
Town and Country Magazine also reports that neighboring countries have extended helping hands. St. Kitts and Nevis has committed $1 million in disaster relief. Venezuela is sending humanitarian supplies and Barbados has sent relief supplies and aid via their military. A few neighboring islands such as St. Lucia and Grenada have opened their borders to people evacuating.
COVID-19 has added layers of complications. St. Vincent’s Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has named being vaccinated as a requirement to board cruise ships heading to safety on other islands.
Let’s continue to keep the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and other affected Caribbean islands in our thoughts!
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