La Soufriere Volcano in St Vincent: Stage 3 Alert

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By Caribbean News Global contributor

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent — Relieving the La Soufriere explosive eruption on April 13, 1979 – St Vincent & the Grenadines has announced a “Stage 3 Disaster Alert” due to increased activity from the La Soufriere volcano.

“We are now into a period where we will not be surprised if sometime in the future we have explosion or explosive activity,” said Professor Richard Robertson, lead scientist monitoring the volcano, said on Thursday. “And if the occasion arises within the next few hours or the next few days, that it becomes necessary and desirable for an evacuation order to be issued, then it will be issued and this is the stage where that declaration is made within the framework of the law,” he said.

Geologists confirmed a series of tremors leading to preparations for the evacuation of communities that could be most affected by the eruption, encountering fresh magma moving to an explosive stage.

La Soufriere bulletin #49 April 08, 2021, reads:

  1. The steaming/smoking at the La Soufriere Volcano has increased over the last few hours.
  2. The alert level remains at Orange. The National Emergency Management Organisation is reminding the public that no evacuation order or notice has been issued.
  3. Residents especially persons living in communities close to the volcano are encouraged to be prepared in the event that it becomes necessary to evacuate at short notice.
  4. The National Emergency Management Organisation will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as it becomes necessary.

Saint Lucia is preparing to receive evacuees. “If there is an eruption we are preparing for ash fall in Saint Lucia and also air quality issues in the south,” stated director Dorine Gustave, “preparations are being made for shelters and various agencies have been activated. The implications for Saint Lucia were presented whether it be financial, human or otherwise. The Cabinet of ministers have pledged their support in whatever way if the need arises. We are asking Saint Lucians to remain calm as there is no need to panic. The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) is working to put all our plans in place.”

St Vincent and the Grenadines prime minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves indicated that Barbados is willing to receive evacuees, albeit they will have to be vaccinated against novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Given the substantial possibility of an eruption of the volcano, the government has also been in contact with friendly nations, including the United States, Cuba, and Venezuela to discuss possible assistance.

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