After the authorities announced a red warning yesterday and issued an order to evacuate residents, it erupted on the La Soufriere volcano on the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean. After recording an increase in seismic activity for several days, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves issued the order yesterday.
The director of the earthquake center Eroccilla Joseph (Eroccilla Joseph) said that the soot column rose 10 kilometers.
The National Emergency Management Organization announced on Twitter that there is a “probability of a major disaster” and warned residents to be prepared. Evacuation work began yesterday, and residents were moved to cruise ships and nearby islands.
Joseph told the Associated Press: “About 16,000 people live in the red zone and need to be evacuated.”
The coronavirus pandemic may hinder evacuation efforts. Prime Minister Goncalves said at a press conference that people must be vaccinated if they board a cruise ship or obtain temporary asylum on another island.
He said that two Royal Caribbean cruisers and two other Carnival companies are expected to arrive. The islands that expressed their willingness to accept have been evacuated from Saint Lucia, Grenada, Barbados and Antigua.
Gonzalves said: “Not everything can be done perfectly, but if we work together, we will be stronger than ever.”
He pointed out that he has had a dialogue with the governments of Caribbean countries to accept ID cards from people who do not have passports.
He said: “This is an extraordinary situation, everyone can understand.”
A few months ago, scientists warned that the volcano might erupt as seismic activity in the Eastern Caribbean Sea increased.
This is especially important because the volcanoes in this part of the world have been quiet for decades.
In December last year, scientists noticed gas escaping from the crater of the volcano and felt tremors nearby. Even so, the government still warns all people living near the volcano to prepare for evacuation if necessary.
La Soufriere, located near the northern end of the main island of Saint Vincent, last erupted in 1979.
When it broke out in 1902, about 1,600 people died. It happened on the eve of the eruption of Montpelle volcano on Martinique in the Caribbean Sea, when the city of Saint-Pierre was destroyed and more than 30,000 people were killed.
Mon Pele is also active again. In early December, due to an earthquake at the foot of the mountain, officials in the French Caribbean issued a yellow warning. This is the first similar warning since the eruption of the volcano in 1932.