Second eruption at La Soufriere

The plume after the second eruption on Friday, 9 April 2021 (Photo via UWI Seismic Research Centre)

Hours after St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves issued an order to evacuate, La Soufriere volcano erupted just before 9 o’clock on Friday, 9 April 2021.

Scientists recorded the beginning of the explosive eruption at 8:41am on Friday, with ash plume reaching up to 10km into the air. A second eruption occurred later on Friday sending plumes as high as 4 km, the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre said.

The volcano last erupted in April 1979.

Professor Richard Robertson, who is the leading scientist monitoring the volcano, provided details of the situation leading to the eruption, and warned that the first eruption may not be the worst.

At an emergency press conference on 8 April, Prime Minister Gonsalves gave the evacuation order for the North-Eastern and North-Western parts of the island which took immediate effect. Thousands were evacuated overnight to shelters and other safe havens.

Social media postings captured residents leaving the ‘red zone’ areas in a convoy of vehicles and by ferries.

Posted by CARICOM: Caribbean Community on Thursday, April 8, 2021

Community support

Governments and people across the Region have reached out to St. Vincent and the Grenadines with offers of support including the provision of supplies, and offers to host evacuees.

Community institutions have been integrally involved in monitoring and providing other technical support to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The increased seismic activity of the La Soufrière volcano in St. Vincent and the Grenadines has implications for the…

Posted by CDEMA – Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency on Friday, April 9, 2021

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), for example, have issued guidance on how residents could protect themselves from respiratory illness that may arise from ash, particulates and gas from the eruption.

CDEMA has been providing logistical and other support to the country and has activated its regional emergency support operations.

The international Community has also reached out with support to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

We will keep you updated as the situation unfolds in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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