The Caribbean countries have offered to help by shipping emergency supplies or temporarily opening their borders.
Dense ashes poured down on areas of the island of Saint Vincent in the eastern Caribbean and a strong smell of sulfur enveloped the communities the day after. powerful explosion At La Soufriere the volcano took the lives of thousands of people evacuated from their homes on government orders.
Caribbean countries including Antigua and Guyana on Saturday offered to help by shipping emergency supplies or temporarily opening their borders to 16,000 people evacuated Run away from ash-covered communities with lots of personal belongings they can fit into suitcases and backpacks.
The volcano, which last had a major eruption in 1979, continues to roar and experts warn that explosions could continue for days or weeks.
An earlier eruption in 1902 killed about 1,600 people.
“The first explosion is not necessarily the biggest this volcano will cause,” Richard Robertson, a geologist with the West Indies University’s Center for Seismic Research, said in a news conference.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves asks everyone to stay calm, patient and continue to protect themselves from the coronavirus as he celebrates that no deaths or injuries have been reported following the eruption of the northern tip of Saint Vincent, part of an island chain that includes the Grenadines and is home to more than 100,000 people.
“Agriculture will be hit hard, we may lose some animals and we will have to repair our homes, but if we have a life and we have the strength, we will build together. It’s coming back better, stronger, “he said in an interview with NBC Radio, a local station.
Depending on the damage caused by the explosion, it can take up to four months for life to return to normal, Gonsalves said.
As of Friday, 2,000 people were in 62 government shelters while four empty cruise ships were floating nearby, waiting to take other evacuees to nearby islands.
People in the shelters have been tested for COVID-19, and anyone who tests positive will be taken to a quarantine center.
The first explosion occurred on Friday morning, a day after the government ordered the mandatory evacuation based on warnings from scientists, who recorded a kind of pre-dawn seismic activity on Thursday. that is, magma is moving close to the surface.
A column of ash more than 7km (23,000 feet) high into the sky, with lightning piercing the cloud still towering late on Friday.
Ashes have forced some flights to cancel and poor visibility has limited evacuation in some areas.
Officials warn that Barbados, St Lucia and Grenada could see light ash falling as the 1,220 meter (4,000 feet) volcano continues to rumble. Much of the ash is projected to be northeastward into the Atlantic Ocean.
Before that, La Soufriere had a powerful eruption in December, prompting experts from all over the region to fly in and analyze the formation of a new volcanic dome and changes to the crater lake. of it, among many other things.
East of the Caribbean has 19 live volcanoes, including two underwater volcanoes near the island of Grenada. One of them, Kick ‘Em Jenny, has been active in recent years.
But the most active volcano is Soufriere Hill in Montserrat. It has erupted continuously since 1995, leveling the capital Plymouth and killing at least 19 people in 1997.