Several points on the island of Saint Vincent, in the Caribbean country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, were left without power at dawn this Sunday, when new explosions were registered at the La Soufriere volcano, that woke up after spending more than four decades inactive.
The island was buried in a blanket of ash on Saturday and the smell of sulfur permeated the air after a series of eruptions from the volcano. Ash build-up on some power lines contributed to extensive power outages.
(It may interest you: Images of the eruption of the Soufriere volcano on the island of San Vicente)
“The landscape of the beautiful ‘island of Saint Vincent’ is engulfed in ash by the explosions during the night and the ash from the volcano,” La Soufriere, tweeted geologist Richard Robertson, posting photos of bleak-looking gray landscapes.
He described the new lava flows as “a moving mass of destruction.” The eruptions caused thousands of people to flee, with around 16,000 living in areas with evacuation orders.
The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) reported “another explosive event “on Sunday morning, when “most of the country [estaba] without energy and covered in ashes. “
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“Day 3 and everything looks like a war zone,” NEMO tweeted. The volcano’s explosive phase is expected to last for several days or even weeks, according to the University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Center, which advised residents to avoid inhaling the volcanic ash.
A layer of white dust covered roads, houses and buildings in San Vicente after the first explosions, registered on Friday.
“On Saturday morning, the island of more than 110,000 people looked like a winter wonderland, albeit covered in ash,” wrote the news portal news784.com. Visibility in some areas was extremely limited, while in the capital, Kingstown, on the opposite end of the island, the ash caused a fine mist, the portal said.
The thick dust traveled 175 kilometers to the east, reaching the neighboring island of Barbados. “Barbadians have been urged to stay indoors as thick plumes of volcanic ash move through the atmosphere, “said the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.
The initial eruption of La Soufriere, the highest volcano in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, it spewed out hot ash and smoke from some 6,000 meters above sea level on Friday morning.
Smaller eruptions occurred on Friday afternoon and Saturday, generating more ash clouds, according to the University of the West Indies.
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Image courtesy of the UWI Center for Seismic Research shows a volunteer covered in ash after the La Soufriere volcano eruption, in Chateaubelair, San Vicente.
UWI Seismic Research Center. AFP
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves reported this Saturday that there is no water in some parts of the island that the The country’s airspace is closed due to ash.
Around 3,000 people spent the night in shelters. “It is a great operation that we are facing,” Gonsalves told NBC News. He also said that his government has been in contact with other countries that have offered help. Guyana and Venezuela are sending ships with supplies, he detailed.
La Soufriere, 1,235 meters high, had not erupted since 1979, and its largest eruption occurred more than a century ago, in 1902, when more than a thousand people died. It had been roaring for months, until it finally erupted.
“We try to be okay. Outside there is deathly silence,” said Vynette Frederick, a 44-year-old attorney from Kingstown. Zen Punnett, a resident of the 30-kilometer-long island, said people panicked Thursday as evacuation orders were issued, but things calmed down a bit on Friday. “Everything has gotten murkier. We stayed indoors,” he said.
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The eruption of the La Soufriere volcano was on April 9.
The emergency management agency released photos of a Coast Guard ship evacuating residents of an area who had previously refused to leave.
Most of the people living in the red risk zone were evacuated to safer areas, authorities said. Cruise ships are collaborating in evacuation tasks.
Police in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines issued an appeal on Saturday for a halt to pranks in phone calls to emergency services. “ANDWe are in the middle of serious evacuation and security maneuvers to protect and rescue those affected by the eruption, “the agency said.” These irresponsible calls divert much-needed resources and personnel from evacuation efforts. “
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