The Caribbean island of St Vincent is likely to see further volcanic eruptions and ash fall over the coming days, experts have warned. The La Soufrière volcano first erupted on Friday, blanketing the island in a layer of ash and forcing more than 16,000 people to evacuate their homes.
Smaller explosions continued over the weekend, causing power cuts and disrupting water supplies. Emergency officials have described the landscape as a “battle zone”. White-coloured dust has covered buildings and roads around the island, including in its capital Kingstown. The ash plume reached as high as 6 miles into the air, with wind taking it as far as 25,000 feet east of St. Vincent, according to official estimates. The warning to expect further activity at La Soufrière followed what officials described as an “explosive event” on Sunday. Explosions and accompanying ashfall are likely to continue over the next few days, the research center said.
The emergency management organisation Nemo tweeted: “Massive power outage following another explosive event at La Soufriere Volcano. Lightning, thunder and rumblings.” It later spoke of “possible destruction and devastation of communities close to the volcano”, and compared the eruption to that of 1902, the worst in St Vincent’s history when more than 1,000 people were killed. The volcano has been inactive for nearly 42 years.