Several Major Explosions Cause 20,000 People To Be Evacuated After Volcano Keeps Erupting In St. Vincent
Around 20,000 residents have been displaced on the Caribbean island of St Vincent following a series of huge volcanic eruptions.
According to the UN, 4,000 of those evacuated are living across 87 temporary shelters, where water and basic services are lacking.
The La Soufrière volcano first started to show signs of activity back in December, with authorities displacing some locals from Thursday 8 April.
Since then, the eruptions have intensified and plumes of ash and smoke have smothered the island, which has a population of more than 110,000.
The country’s National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) has posted updates on Facebook, saying that the volcano is producing dangerous ‘pyroclastic density currents’. These are fast-flowing streams of debris and ash, which can travel at hundreds of metres per second.
The UWISeismic Research Centre, which monitors earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis in Eastern Caribbean, said that explosions are likely to continue, and potentially increase in magnitude.
Neighbouring islands have been sending aid to those stuck on St Vincent, but the UN has warned that a humanitarian crisis looms.
As reported by BBC News, Didier Trebucq, UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, told reporters on Wednesday: ‘We are facing a situation with a great deal of uncertainty and also a humanitarian crisis that is growing and may continue for weeks and months.’
La Soufrière hasn’t erupted since 1979, when a volcanic explosion saw debris shot thousands of feet into the air, with some of it reaching Barbados, 100 miles away.
The US embassy said in a press release it is working with Royal Caribbean Cruises to evacuate any American citizens stranded on the island, at no cost.
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