Explosive eruptions have started at the La Soufriere volcano in St Vincent.
[Disclaimer: Not my video] Explosive eruption is underway. pic.twitter.com/PgrpU2VO2A
— D. Jimesha Prince (@DJimeshaPrince) April 9, 2021
The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre said the first one was at 8:41 a.m.
“This is a culmination of the seismic activity that began on April 8. The eruption is ongoing and more information will be shared as things progress,” it said in a brief statement.
The volcano has sent plumes of ash up to five miles high. Citizens from the neighboring island of St. Lucia are also being affected by the ash from the volcano.
Image submitted as a view from Vieux Fort Saint Lucia. Saint Lucia is positioned north of St Vincent and the Grenadines in the Eastern Caribbean. #LaSoufrière https://t.co/fLpCMMvIMJ pic.twitter.com/tSAUYqrJzc
— Heidi Badenock 🇻🇨 (@heidibadenock) April 9, 2021
This is the first time the volcano has erupted since 1979.
Residents living near the volcano began being evacuated on Thursday afternoon.
Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley said Thursday that the regional grouping had mobilized to support St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Some CARICOM member states, like Grenada, Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis and Dominica, offered support to house evacuees from the affected area.
In a statement issued, Rowley said the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) had activated its regional support operation, including the deployment of a specialist to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. CDEMA is providing technical assistance to NEMO with Evacuation and Logistics Planning.
Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness says he spoke with Prime Minister of St Vincent Ralph Gonsalves to assure him of Jamaica’s readiness to provide assistance to the country. Leaders of other Caribbean nations including St Lucia, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados have also offered their support.
Several cruise ships, including Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line, will be arriving on the island on Friday to help get residents out. The cruise ships have indicated that residents who want to come on board must be vaccinated.