A volcano on the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean erupted today, for the first time in 40 years, quickly evacuating thousands of residents of the Lesser Antilles.
“Scientists at the Belmont Observatory have confirmed that an explosive eruption of Mount Soufre occurred at 8:40 a.m. local time (12:40 p.m. Central European time). The height of the smoke column has risen by 8 kilometers,” the Emergency Management Department of the Government of Saint Vincent and Green Naddings said.
The island’s national service department said in a statement: “All personnel in the volcanic red zone should be evacuated immediately.” The island’s national service team has more than 100,000 residents.
“The soot also fell on the neighboring Chateaubelair and Petite-Bordel, as well as on the observatory,” the Seismological Research Center of the University of West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago (another Antilles) tweeted Wen said.
The head of the center said at a press conference: “After an explosion has erupted, it is expected to happen again.” He warned, “An explosion may take days or weeks.”
Since 1979, Sufrey volcano has not erupted. In 1902, the largest and most destructive eruption broke out, killing more than 1,000 people.
Thousands of people were evacuated on Thursday, and about 16,000 of them lived in the “red” most exposed areas. They were moved to a safer place on the cruiser and the island. More than 2,300 people have taken refuge in 62 shelters, and the Ministry of Health is vaccinating them against covid-19.
Much of the Lesser Antilles is part of a long chain of volcanoes in the eastern Caribbean.
Local media reported that there has been an increase in seismic activity and Mount Perry volcanic activity on Martinique in the north of Saint Vincent.