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St Vincent & the Grenadines: La Soufrière Volcano - Dec 2020

Status
Ongoing
Countries
St. Vincent & Grenadines
+ 1 more
Disaster types
Volcano

On 29th December 2020, the alert level for the La Soufrière volcano in St. Vincent and the Grenadines was elevated to orange because of increased activity at the site...An orange level alert means that there is highly elevated seismicity or fumarolic activity, or both, and other highly unusual symptoms. Eruptions may occur with less than 24 hours’ notice. Monitoring systems are continuously staffed and there is regular visual inspection of potential vent areas as well as continuous ground deformation and hydrothermal monitoring. (OCHA, 16 Mar 2021)

On 11 April, NEMO indicated that there were pyroclastic flows (pyroclast is a cloud of hot ash and rock) at La Soufrière Volcano and possible destruction and devastation of communities close to the volcano...On 11 April, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) indicated that eighty-five (85) shelters were occupied with approximately 3,586 people. There is an undisclosed number of self-evacuees, who are staying with family and friends. 5 On 9 April at approximately 8:41 am, the La Soufrière volcano entered an explosive eruptive phase with the first column of ash as high as 10 km...On 8 April, following significant seismic activity, there was an explosive event at the volcano site. Following an emergency meeting of Cabinet and the National Emergency Council, the alert level was raised to RED and an Evacuation Order Issued. (OCHA, 12 Apr 2021)

A new huge explosion of La Soufrière volcano occurred on 12 April at 8.15 UTC. Deadly pyroclastic flows descending through the flanks of the volcano have been reported...An estimated number of approximately 110, 589 people in Saint Vincent are affected, as well as an unquantified number of people in neighbouring islands. According to the national authorities, the evacuation process is still underway and the alert level of the volcano stands at red. So far, approximately 18% of the population has been evacuated, including 3,200 persons in public shelters. Extensive damage to assets and livelihoods (fisheries, agriculture) has also been reported, compounding the ongoing adverse socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. (ECHO, 13 Apr 2021)

Heavy rainfall has been reported across Saint Vincent Island, causing lahars (mud and debris flow), compounding the situation in areas already affected by the eruptions of La Soufriere volcano ..According to media reports, several lahar flows were recorded on all flanks of the volcano, resulting in damage to a number of houses and road infrastructure. In addition, flooding has been reported across Kingstown Capital City (southern Saint Vincent). According to [CDEMA], a total of 13,303 persons have been displaced to public or private shelters due to volcanic activity, as of 26 April. The volcano continues to be at alert level Red. The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has issued alerts for flooding and landslides in several areas on mainland Saint Vincent. Light to locally moderate rainfall could affect the island on 30 April - 1 May. (ECHO, 30 Apr 2021)