Powerful eruptions continue on St. Vincent

Published: Apr. 12, 2021 at 6:26 PM EDT
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Just hours after a major power outage on Saint Vincent, the island is bracing for more eruptions while trying to safely evacuate residents during a pandemic.

Thousands of people expected to evacuate Saint Vincent and at least three cruise ships are ready to serve as emergency shelters.

The Caribbean island looking like a battle zone. The eruption of the La Soufrier volcano Friday pumped clouds of ash six miles into the air, forcing 18,000 people to leave their homes.

Ralph Gonsalves is the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “We don’t know how much more is going to come out, but it is very big, it’s coming out. So far, we have done well in that nobody get injured, nobody dead.”

More than 3,200 people now in shelters. One of the evacuees said, “This is the first time I’m experiencing a volcanic eruption. I’m scared and hoping for the best so everything can be over so I can go back home.”

The volcano setting off tremors over the weekend, some lasting 20 minutes. Dr. Eroudscilla Joseph with the University of West Indies Seismic Research Centre explains, “Given the previous eruptions, they’ve lasted 6 months to a year. This is long term spam of eruptions, in terms of the worst of it, could be days, to weeks.”

A massive clean-up in neighboring Barbados. The prime minister asking people to stay inside and wear a mask if venturing out. “We are going to fight this with sense, common sense. We may need some cents and dollars too, but the first thing we need is common sense.”

Roughly 100,000 people live in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the last time the volcano erupted was in 1979 and it caused nearly a $100-million in damage.

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