A Volcanic eruption appears imminent in St Vincent and an order was given for the people to evacuate the island. After several days of increased seismic activity, it seems clear that a disaster cannot be avoided.
The Prime Minister Mr Ralph Gonsalves issued the order on Thursday.
Since November, La Soufrière has been increasingly active. Researchers from the University of the West Indies reported that the monitoring station had detected a swarm of small volcano-tectonic earthquakes, on Monday. They increased steadily in magnitude.
The UWI reported that the earthquakes were located at 6km depth beneath the volcano’s summit. The biggest event reached the magnitude of 3.5 and it was felt by residents who were living close to the volcano.
La Soufrière’s most devastating eruption was in 1902, about 1,600 people were killed, most of them indigenous Caribs. It last erupted in April 1979, but no one died as the local population was evacuated.
The Caribbean islands National Emergency Management Organisation sent out a Tweet that stated that there was a “substantial prospect of disaster”, and residents were told to “be ready, they should get your things in order”.
8th April, 2021— kenville Horne (@kenvilleHorne) April 8, 2021
LA SOUFRIÈRE BULLETIN #49 APRIL 08, 2021 12:00 PM
1. The steaming/smoking at the La Soufriere Volcano has increased over the last few hours.
2. The alert level remains at Orange. @volcanodiscover @USGSVolcanoes #volcano pic.twitter.com/UpygxRfzS2
There are Safe areas where people will be evacuated to, they will move from North Union to Kingstown, on the Windward side of the island, while others will move from Barrouallie to Kingstown on the Leeward side and the Grenadine Islands.
There was a cruise ship from the Royal Caribbean line that was heading to the island to help with evacuation efforts.
The geologist, Richard Robertson said that La Soufrière could erupt in a matter of days or hours.
The Monitoring stations reported long earthquakes, which means fresh magma was trying to reach the surface, this indicates that the volcano was getting to an explosive stage in its development.
Check out the eruption in the video below.