Evacuation taking place in St. Vincent as volcano deteriorates

Evacuation taking place in St. Vincent as volcano deteriorates”

The La Soufriere volcano rumbled back to life about three months ago, after going back to sleep since its last eruption in 1979.

NEMO also said Royal Caribbean Group was sending a ship to help in the evacuation process; Royal Caribbean did not immediately respond to a request for more information, but sources believe the Serenade of the Seas is on the way to St. Vincent.

The volcano was spitting steam late Thursday, according to images shared by the University of West Indies Seismic Research Centre, which monitors volcanic activity in the eastern Caribbean.

The La Soufriere volcano in SVG could erupt "anytime from now", lead scientist Professor Richard Robertson has said.

The earliest period that shows there can be an explosive eruption is NOW, the next few hours or days, Robertson says pointing out that the volcano could return to normal as well.

St. Vincent's National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) warned on Twitter on Thursday of a "substantial prospect of disaster" and quoting NEMO director Michelle Forbes as saying "be ready, get your things in order".

He said that the suggestion is that this magma is at or close to the surface and the possibility of the volcano moving to explosive eruption has increased significantly, based on the activity being seen.

'Things are escalating pretty quickly, ' she said of the volcanic activity, adding that it was impossible to provide an exact forecast of what might happen in the next hours or days.

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Premier David Burt today said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of St. Vincent & The Grenadines as they face the possible eruption of the volcano La Soufriere".

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves made the announcement at a press conference this morning.

It followed what he described as a heightened period of activity at the volcano.

Gonsalves said he has already been in contact with the prime ministers of Barbados, St Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda about the repatriation of an estimated 20,000 nationals of those country, who are living and working in St Vincent, should the need arise.

Only a small fraction of people in St. Vincent and the Grenadines appear to have been vaccinated.

Neighbouring islands have committed to taking in volcano evacuees who are being urged to be vaccinated before leaving the country.

Four other eruptions have been recorded in recent history, in 1718, 1812, and 1902, when about 1,600 people were killed.

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