St. Vincent is waiting for a new volcanic eruption when help arrives

San Juan, Puerto Rico (AP) — Cots, tents and breathing masks were poured on St. Vincent Island in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Authorities planned to begin distribution on Saturday, the day after the big explosion at Las Friere volcano. Thousands of people evacuated home under government orders.

Countries from Antigua to Guyana temporarily border about 16,000 evacuees fleeing ash-covered communities with personal belongings to transport emergency supplies to their neighbors or pack them in suitcases and backpacks. Provided assistance by agreeing to open.

The last eruption of the volcano in 1979 continued to rumbling as experts warned that an explosive eruption could last for days or even weeks. A previous eruption in 1902 killed about 1,600 people.

“The first bang isn’t necessarily the biggest bang that the volcano can do,” Richard Robertson, a geologist at the University of the West Indies Earthquake Research Center, said at a news conference.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves celebrated that no casualties were reported after the eruption at the northern end of St. Vincent, part of the island chain, including the Grenadines, calmly patient and withdrawn from the coronavirus. I asked people to keep it. And more than 100,000 people live there.

“Agriculture is seriously affected, some animals can be lost and homes have to be repaired, but if we have life and power, we can do it better together, Build stronger, “he says. He said in an interview with the local broadcaster NBC Radio.

According to Gonzalves, it can take up to four months for life to return to normal, depending on the damage caused by the explosion. As of Friday, 2,000 people were staying in 62 government shelters, four empty cruise ships floating nearby, waiting to take other refugees to nearby islands. .. People staying in shelters will be tested for COVID-19, and those who test positive will be taken to a quarantine center.

The first explosion was on Friday morning, the day after the government ordered evacuation based on warnings from scientists who noticed a type of seismic activity that meant magma was moving closer to the surface before Thursday dawn. It has occurred. The explosion fired more than 33,000 feet (7 km) of ash pillars into the sky, with lightning crackling in the towering smoke clouds at the end of Friday.

Volcanic activity forced some flights to be canceled during ash-limited evacuation in some areas due to poor visibility. Officials have warned that light ash fall may be seen in Barbados, Saint Lucia and Grenada as volcanoes continue to ring at 4,003 feet (1,220 meters). Most of the ashes were expected to head northeast to the Atlantic Ocean.

La Soufriere had previously launched a major eruption in December, urging experts in the region to jump in and analyze new volcanic dome formations and changes in crater lakes.

In the eastern Caribbean, there are 19 active volcanoes, including two underwater near Grenada. One of them, Kick’Em Jenny, has been active in recent years. But the most active volcano of all is the Soufriere Hills in Montserrat. It has continued to erupt since 1995, destroying the capital of Plymouth and killing at least 19 people in 1997.