Status: 10/4/2021 2:14 PM
Volcano La Soufriere erupted on the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent. Kilometers of ash clouds rose into the sky. Some residents were brought to neighboring islands on cruise ships.
For the first time in four decades, La Soufriere volcano erupted on Saint Vincent and the Caribbean Grenadines. During the violent eruption on Friday morning, ash clouds as high as 6,000 meters rose and reached the south of the island. Local Civil Protection declared.
The island nation government announced that thousands of people have been evacuated from the danger zone to safety. Evacuation was difficult due to heavy rain. Some residents were transferred from places around the volcano to cruise ships to cross over to nearby islands, or they stayed in accommodations in Saint Vincent far from the danger zone.
Escape from the volcano – the ash turned the sky dark gray.
Expect more outbreaks
In anticipation of the outbreak, Prime Minister Ralph Gonçalves put, Thursday evening, the island of more than 100,000 people on high alert. At least four cruise ships have been converted. 16,000 people typically live in the greatest danger zone alone. Most of them were taken to safety by Friday. Immediately after the volcanic eruption, Argyle International Airport had to be closed.
Another small outbreak was reported on Friday afternoon. Gonçalves warned at a news conference that there could be more and even stronger outbreaks. In a voice choked with tears, he said the difficult situation on the island was likely to last for months.
People stand on a street in Kingstown and watch a volcanic eruption.
It last erupted in 1979
The volcano north of St. Vincent Island last erupted in 1979. In the most violent volcano eruption so far in 1902, more than 1,500 people were killed. La Soufriere is the highest mountain on the island. The Caribbean nation consists of the main island of Saint Vincent and the 31 small islands in the Grenadines. The area was affiliated with the British colonial empire.