Thousands Of Nationals Will Be Displaced For Months Amid Saint Vincent Volcanic Eruption

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This home in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has collapsed under the weight of the ash from the La Soufriere volcano eruption.

By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. April 12, 2021: As the La Soufriere volcano eruption in the Caribbean island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines enters day four, the government says some 20,000 people could be displaced internally for months.

Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves is predicting 3-4 months at least even as the Director of the Trinidad-based Seismic Research Centre at the St, Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Dr. Erouscilla Joseph, said ash emanating from the volcano could continue for weeks.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines has a population of just over 100,000 people and the island has not experienced a volcanic eruption since 1979.

Volcanologist, Professor Richard Robertson, on Sunday warned that the on-going eruption of La Soufriere volcano is in keeping with the events surrounding the 1902 eruption, which claimed 1,600 lives at a time when early warning systems and evacuation capabilities were not as advanced.

“The activity pattern we have currently is more similar to a 1902 type of eruption of that kind of scale, rather than a 1979 scale,” he stated. “The people who lived through 1979 know the kind of eruption we have had.” Pyroclastic flows are now being forecast from La Soufriere – causing possible destruction and devastation of communities close to the volcano, according to Robertson

This means there will be more damage and destruction to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, even as ash fall continues island wide and the volcano has also caused power outages. Some houses in the island have also collapsed due to the weight of the ash and most crops on island will be lost along with untold livestock, added Gonsalves. Residents in the North of the island closer to the volcano say the loud rumblings are deafening.

Currently hundreds are in makeshift shelters in churches and schools where the needs are great. The Short-Term necessities are food, water, non-perishables including canned goods and juice, toothpaste, toothbrushes, toilet paper, soap, deodorant, shampoos, sleeping mats, blankets, feminine hygiene products, masks, water tanks, portable potties, field tents, field kitchen, respirator masks with filters, goggles, reflective vests, hygiene kits, baby diapers, hand sanitizers, manual can openers, buckets, masks, mosquito repellent, first-aid kits, and antibiotic ointments.

Invest Caribbean, the New York and South Florida-based global private sector investment agency of the Caribbean, and its partner, The Ritzury Group (ICN + Ritzury), are collaborating to bring urgent relief and begin to get much needed items shipped in from Barbados to shelters. Support the effort HERE