St. Vincent and other parts of the Caribbean remain covered in ash from the La Soufriere volcano. Bracing for more explosions, St. Vincent evacuated about 16,000 people from the surrounding communities.
La Soufriere’s latest eruption comes almost 42 years after the last major eruption in 1979. Authorities canceled flights as a safety precaution. Nearby Barbados, St. Lucia, and Grenada prepared for light ashfall, according to the Associated Press.
Heavy ashfall rained down on parts of St. Vincent, with a strong sulfur smell making its way through nearby communities. No casualties were reported as of Saturday afternoon.
Ash from La Soufriere caused air quality issues in nearby areas. In an interview with a local station, prime minister Ralph Gonsalves said people had trouble breathing. Officials were working to figure out how to remove the ash.
“Agriculture will be badly affected, and we may have some loss of animals, and we will have to do repairs to houses, but if we have life and we have strength, we will build it back better, stronger, together,” Gonsalves said.
He estimated it could take as long as four months to complete the cleanup. La Soufriere sits in the northern section of St. Vincent. St. Vincent is a part of a chain of islands, including the Grenadines.
Grenada, Antigua, Barbados, and St. Lucia agreed to accept refugees. St. Vincent has asked other countries to accept people without passports who need shelter. Over 2,000 people are currently in 62 government shelters.
“This is an emergency, and everybody understands that,” said Gonsalves.
Cruise ships arrived Friday to assist with the evacuation effort. The Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises released a joint statement Thursday explaining the coordinated effort with St. Vincent authorities. “Royal Caribbean International’s Serenade of the Seas and Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Reflection are on their way to the island nation and are expected to arrive later this evening to assist with evacuation efforts,” read the statement. The cruise lines assured they would take precautions “to protect the health and safety of the crew and passengers who board our ships.”
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, St. Vincent authorities recommended those entering shelters be vaccinated. St. Vincent and the Grenadines received 24,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines earlier in the week as a part of a global relief effort.
Reports indicate ash from the first explosion reached 32,000 feet. In a Friday interview with the Associated Press, Erouscilla Joseph, the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center director, said more explosions could occur. Joseph said it was difficult to predict the size of subsequent explosions.
A majority of the 19 volcanoes in the eastern Caribbean are on 11 islands. There are also two underwater volcanoes near Grenada including one that has been active in recent years.
Exonerated! Wrongly Convicted Black Folks Whose Names Have Been Cleared
1. Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil IslamSource:Getty 1 of 17
2. Juwan Deering2 of 17
3. Herbert Alford
3 of 17
A Michigan man who spent nearly five years in custody is suing Hertz for failing to produce in a timely manner a receipt that would have proved his innocence long before he was convicted of a 2011 murder. https://t.co/kZaI5tdOv4— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 12, 2021
4. Walter Forbes
4 of 17
“I don’t hold contempt for the people who lied to convict me ... The reason is selfish: I wasn’t going to allow them to destroy me," said Walter Forbes, freed and exonerated last week after 37 years with the help of @UofMInnocence. https://t.co/WfanIitchU— The Innocence Project (@innocence) December 14, 2020
5. Termaine Joseph Hicks
5 of 17
An innocent Philadelphia man has been freed after spending 19 years in prison because two police officers wrongly claimed he’d raped a woman and then shot at them, when he’d in fact saved her from a different man .Attorneys for Termaine Joseph Hicks claim cops made up the story . pic.twitter.com/FJp5DQUMoQ— HJ (Hank) Ellison (@hjtherealj) December 18, 2020
6. Clifford Williams, Nathan Myers
6 of 17
After a combined 86 years incarcerated for a crime they did not commit, Clifford Williams Jr. and his nephew, Nathan Myers, were exonerated and released last week! Mr. Myers was 18 when he was arrested and is now 61. Mr. Williams was 33 and is now 76. https://t.co/EH2qPCspEj— Equal Justice Initiative (@eji_org) April 5, 2019
7. Calvin BrightSource:WUSA9 7 of 17
8. Kevin Baker, Sean Washington
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Kevin Baker and Sean Washington received life terms in 1996 that were overturned on appeal in December https://t.co/MSWoxkwPzi— Courier-Post (@cpsj) February 4, 2020
9. Theophalis Wilson
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Theophalis Wilson was 17-years-old when he was falsely accused of a triple murder in Philadelphia and sentenced to life in prison. Now, 28 years later, he finally has his freedom. He spoke with @KeithJones https://t.co/mVDISp68hy pic.twitter.com/RQ2pEdZBfM— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) January 22, 2020
10. Alfred Chestnut, Ransom Watkins, and Andrew Stewart
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And they are out: Alfred Chestnut, Ransom Watkins and Andrew Stewart walk out of the Baltimore city courthouse after 36 yrs for a crime they didn’t do: pic.twitter.com/5UDGWMZmOB— Tom Jackman (@TomJackmanWP) November 25, 2019
11. Deandre Charles11 of 17
12. Exonerated Five - Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam and Korey Wise12 of 17
13. Anthony Ray Hinton
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Name: Anthony Ray Hinton, who was on Alabama’s Death Row for nearly 30 years for a murder he didn’t commit. In 2018, he wrote about his experience in the NYT bestseller, The Sun Does Shine.— City of Birmingham (@cityofbhamal) October 4, 2019
Occupation: Works in community education with the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery pic.twitter.com/EwiaJueimb
14. Lamar Johnson14 of 17
15. Wilbert Jones
15 of 17
Louisiana man freed from prison after serving 43 years for a crime he did not commit. Wilbert Jones was arrested in 1971 at the age of 19 and convicted of rape in 1974. A judge overturned his conviction weeks ago. He still had to pay $2,000 bail before becoming a free man today. pic.twitter.com/LYV4gbTPOf— Joel Franco (@OfficialJoelF) November 15, 2017
16. Xavier DavisSource:Courtesy of Xavier Davis 16 of 17
17. Huwe Burton
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2,372nd Exon: Huwe Burton was convicted in 1991 for stabbing his mother to death when he was 16. He was exonerated on Jan 24th after an investigation showed that his confession was coerced and that his mother's real killer was likely a downstairs neighbor. https://t.co/TM3f76moQ5 pic.twitter.com/rsU1NlPr2y— Exoneration Registry (@exonerationlist) February 4, 2019
St. Vincent, Neighboring Caribbean Islands Grapple With Aftermath of Volcano Eruption was originally published on newsone.com