UPDATED – The Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines today called for immediate evacuation of areas in the Red Zone after scientists observed a significant increase in activity at La Soufriere volcano. This has prompted the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to raise the volcanic alert level at the La Soufriere volcano to Red.
Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said that effective immediately that there should be an evacuation of all premises in the areas designated as the Red Zone in the northwest and northeast and the areas themselves.
The only persons, vessels and vehicles allowed to remain in the area must be related to those facilitating the evacuation.
Safe areas are those from North Union to Kingstown, on the Windward side of the island, Barouallie to Kingstown on the Leeward side and the Grenadine Islands.
The UWI-Seismic Research Centre scientific team based at the Belmont Observatory in St. Vincent recorded six separate bands of volcanic tremor throughout the day. This new type of seismic event has not yet been observed since the beginning of the eruption in December 2020. This type of seismic signal is usually associated with movement of magma and fluids close to the surface. Ash venting was also observed during the most recent tremor episode.
The effusive eruption is continuing and an explosive phase of the eruption may begin with very little warning.
An evacuation order has been issued for communities in the Red volcanic hazard zone. Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves made the announcement during the second of two press conferences held in Kingstown today. The UWI-SRC Geologist and Scientific Team Lead, Prof. Richard Robertson indicated that “We cannot give any clear warning that nothing can happen within the next 24-48 hours and we would not be surprised if there are explosions at the volcano during that period.”
At alert level Red the public is advised to urgently comply with directives issued by NEMO. NEMO has advised that safe areas are those from North Union to Kingstown, on the Windward side of the island, Barouallie to Kingstown on the Leeward side and the Grenadine Islands.
For information on evacuation routes stay tuned to local (St. Vincent) media channels and follow NEMO on social media @NEMOSVG. Scientific updates are available on The UWI-SRC website and social media platforms.
Watch today’s emergency press conference about La Soufriere Volcano