Saint Vincent, Caribbean's largest island nation covered in ash: Know why here!

The La Soufrière, which had been dormant for over four decades, erupted for the first time three days back and since then it has been erupting explosively, covering the main island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in ash and debris.

Created On: Apr 13, 2021 15:29 ISTModified On: Apr 13, 2021 15:29 IST
Image Courtesy: Business Insider

The Caribbean's largest island nation, Saint Vincent is covered in ash after two sets of volcanic eruptions from its long-dormant volcano, which has suddenly become active. 

The La Soufrière, which had been dormant for over four decades, erupted for the first time three days back and since then it has been erupting explosively, covering the main island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in ash and debris.

The ash plumes and ashfall from the volcano have disrupted communications and covered roads, building and nearly everything in large parts of St Vincent with a thick layer of ash. This has forced thousands to evacuate their homes. The people of the Caribbean island have been told to brace themselves for further ash clouds.

According to Erouscilla Joseph, director of the University of the West Indies’s Seismic Research Center, the hot ash from the volcano is destroying everything in its path.

Any casualties?

•So far, there have been no immediate reports of injuries or death. However, more than 16000 people have had to evacuate their homes to escape from the ashfall.

•The evacuees are being taken to nearby islands, while around 3000 are staying in government-run shelters. Antigua, Grenada and St Lucia have offered to take the evacuees. 

How many days will this last?

According to a tweet by the country’s National Emergency Management Organisation (Nemo) on April 12, 2021, "The volcano continues to erupt explosively and has now begun to generate pyroclastic density currents." 

The tweet further read that the "explosions and accompanying ashfall, of similar or larger magnitude, are likely to continue to occur over the next few days."

Impact

•Almost the entire main island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been affected. Almost everything is covered in ash and there have been continuous rumblings, lightning and thunder. 

•Communications, electricity and water supply, all have been affected. There was a massive power outage following the series of explosions at the La Soufrière volcano.

•The National Emergency Management Organisation has warned of the “possible destruction and devastation of communities” close to the volcano. The organisation further compared the eruption to the one in 1902, the worst in the nation's history when over 1000 people were killed.

•As per officials, it could months for life to go back to normal in St. Vincent, part of an island chain of that includes the Grenadines. The majority of the 100,000 inhabitants of the island nation live in St. Vincent.

Background

The La Soufrière volcano had last erupted in 1979. It erupted on April 9, 2021 for the first time since 1979. The volcano had first shown signs of renewed activity in December 2020. 

The eastern Caribbean has a total of 19 live volcanoes, 17 of which are located on 11 islands and two are located underwater near Grenada, including one called Kick ’Em Jenny that has been active in recent years. 

The most active volcano of the lot is Soufriere Hills in Montserrat, which has erupted continuously since 1995, destroying the capital of Plymouth and killing at least 19 people in 1997.

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एग्जाम की तैयारी के लिए ऐप पर वीकली टेस्ट लें और दूसरों के साथ प्रतिस्पर्धा करें। डाउनलोड करें करेंट अफेयर्स ऐप

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  • get it rightApr 15, 2021
    St. Vincent is NOT the Caribbean's largest island nation... not even close! SMH. Appreciate the story but get the key facts right.
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