St. Vincent Volcano Eruption Displaces 16,000 People

Residents of the Caribbean island of St. Vincent are experiencing power outages and water supplies have reportedly been cut off as the La Soufrière volcano erupted on Friday (April 9 ) and continues to be a threat to the Grenadines island chain.

According to the BBC, 16,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes as scientists warn that eruptions could continue for days or even weeks. 

Emergency officials described the “explosive event” as a “battle zone” and additional damage and destruction was likely.

“Massive power outage following another explosive event at La Soufriere Volcano,” NEMO SVG, an emergency management organization, wrote in a tweet. “Lightning, thunder and rumblings.”

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According to NEMO SVG, white-colored ash has begun to harden on the ground after rain showers hit St. Vincent the next night.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said water supplies to most of the island had been cut off. Additionally, its airspace is closed because of the smoke and thick plumes of volcanic ash moving through the atmosphere, the BBC reports.

“We don’t know how much more is going to come out… so far, we have done well in that nobody got injured, nobody is dead,” Mr. Gonsalves said, according to NBC News.

The Barbados Defense Force has reportedly been deployed to St. Vincent to provide humanitarian assistance.

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