The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) mobilized to support Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where the La Soufrière volcano on the island’s northern tip erupted at least twice on Friday, shooting ash 33,000 feet in the air, and again on Sunday.
Following an evacuation order of the immediate area around the volcano by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, CARICOM member states offered support to house evacuees from the affected area.
The scientific team from the University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Centre (SRC) has been in the country constantly monitoring the volcano and rendering scientific advice to the government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) has been working alongside the Saint Vincent National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), the SRC and the Regional Security System (RSS).
CDEMA has activated its regional support operation including the deployment of a specialist to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The Agency is providing technical assistance to NEMO with Evacuation and Logistics Planning.
In an address broadcast by a local radio station, Prime Minister Gonsalves urged people to “save water,” warning that supplies are “limited.” Mr. Gonsalves also encouraged people to wear face masks as it’s “difficult to breathe” because of the amount of ash blanketing the island.