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Apr 9, 2021

Volcano Erupts in Saint Vincent, Affects Barbados

This morning, a volcano on the island of Saint Vincent erupted and since then, there have been several explosions.  Residents on the island have been evacuated from the immediate area, but ashes have been permeating the air in the neighbouring island country of Barbados. News Five’s Duane Moody’s report includes a first-hand account from the spouse of Belizean Kimberly Pitts-Taylor.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

A few weeks ago, the La Soufriere (su-fri-yer) volcano on Saint Vincent and the Grenadines became active and government officials as well as residents on the island were on a volcano watch. Precautionary measures had been taken to evacuate residents from within the immediate area of the volcano, as the meteorological office in that country began monitoring. Since 1979, forty-years ago, the volcano has not erupted, but just before seven o’clock this morning, oozing lava began sliding down the mountain side. Billowing smoke of ash can be seen in the sky as onlookers are left in awe.

 

Deryn Taylor

Deryn Taylor, Resident, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines

“Saint Vincent is very small and even if you are far away, you are able to see what is happening and as we say the mushroom cloud and we were able to see it and we started calling everyone around about what was happening. The government issued an evacuation yesterday because if you didn’t know the volcano started erupting effusively since in December, around the twenty-eight of December. And from then until about yesterday, a lot has changed because we started getting a lot of tremors from the volcano.”

 

Like hurricanes, residents are in danger of losing their lives, and their livelihoods as a result of the natural disaster. It has triggered an emergency situation in the neighbour Caribbean community. As of this morning, there were two thousand persons spread over twenty shelters in Saint Vincent and twenty thousand persons to be evacuated. Deryn Taylor and his Belizean wife Kimberly are in the green zone, about ten miles from the volcano.

 

Deryn Taylor

“Most people were evacuated; obviously they had a lot of traffic jam last night and the good news is that it didn’t erupt last night; it erupted this morning and a lot of people have been able to get out. We have had evacuation both by land – vehicles, buses – and also we sent in ferries to evacuate people from those areas.”

 

The highly abrasive ash cloud from the volcano could be seen from a distance. It is being closely monitored by the neighbouring island country of Barbados, which experienced some ash cloud.  There are concerned about the respiratory complications associated with this phenomenon and so a press conference was called to details its plan of action – especially to quell hysteria.

 

Sabu Best

Sabu Best, Director of Meteorological Services, Barbados

“The eruption itself has eased off, but is still ongoing, but is not as aggressive and therefore the smoke and ash is not getting high elevations since this morning. What we saw on our satellite image this morning, the plume has eased off in terms of what is coming out of La Soufriere and traversing towards the east is hanging around mostly around Saint Vincent and there are deposits around the airport side and particularly off the island. Our colleagues from the Met Services in Saint Vincent have indicated there is light ash fall around the airport, not significant, but it appears to be a lot heavier in the northern section of the island.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.


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