St. Vincent waits for a new volcanic eruption when help arrives

Kingstown, St. Vincent — Very heavy rainfall across St. Vincent in the eastern Caribbean on Saturday, and the day after the blast at Las Friere volcano, a strong sulfur smell engulfed the community and evacuated thousands of people. I have uprooted my life. Under government orders.

The lush Caribbean villages have transformed into a sort of dark gray Alpine village under a fine soot blanket hanging in the air, obscuring the sun.

Neighboring countries such as Antigua and Guyana temporarily border about 16,000 evacuees fleeing ash-covered communities with personal belongings that can be transported or packed in suitcases and backpacks. We provide support by opening up.

The volcano, which had its last major eruption in 1979, continued to roar, experts warned that the explosion could last for days or 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.

Heavy ash-covered houses, cars, streets, and even airport runways at the opposite end of the island, about 20 miles from the crater of the volcano, worsen the condition of many people overnight. did. As people moved away from their homes, they left footprints in the ashes.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves told local station NBC Radio that authorities are trying to find a way to get rid of the ashes.

Epoch Times Photo
Ashes emerge in the air when Las Friere volcano erupts on St. Vincent Island in the eastern Caribbean Sea, as seen from Chateaubelair on April 9, 2021. (Orvil Samuel / AP Photo)

“It’s hard to breathe,” Gonzalves said, adding that the volcanic eruptions have diminished, but large ash and smoke eruptions remain. “What goes up must go down.”

Part of an island chain that includes the Grenadines, celebrating that no casualties have been reported after the eruption at the northern end of his hometown of St. Vincent, he keeps people calm, patient, and coronavirus. I asked him to continue to protect himself from. To over 100,000 people.

“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. Said.

According to Gonzalves, it can take up to four months for life to return to normal, depending on the damage caused by the explosion. Approximately 3,200 people stayed in 78 government shelters, waiting to take other refugees to nearby islands, while four empty cruise ships were floating nearby. Those staying in shelters will be tested for COVID-19, and those who test positive will be taken to a quarantine center.

Epoch Times Photo
This image, provided by Maxar Technologies, shows La Soufriere volcano on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent the day before the eruption on April 8, 2021. (Satellite image © 2021 Maxar Technologies via AP)

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.

At the end of Friday, a pillar of volcanic ash exploded into the sky over 33,000 feet, with lightning crackling in the still towering clouds.

Ash was forced to cancel some flights, and poor visibility restricted evacuation in some areas. Officials have warned that light ash fall may be seen in Barbados, Saint Lucia and Grenada as the 4,003-foot volcano continues to ring. 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.

By Kristin Deane and Dánica Coto