“They settle down pretty nicely,” Doris McIntosh, the shelter’s deputy manager, said in a phone interview. However, she noted that meals had not yet been served. “Due to the emergency evacuation, some things are out of place.”
Approximately 16,000 people live in the red zone and need to be evacuated, Erouscilla Joseph, director of the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center, told the Associated Press.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves called on people not to panic in the middle of warning experts.
“The explosive phase of the eruption may begin with very few warnings,” the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center said in a statement.
Many worried that the pandemic would make evacuation efforts more difficult, and Gonzalves noted that cruise ships and other islands would need to vaccinate evacuees. He also said he is working with other Caribbean governments to ensure they can accept an ID card because not everyone has passports.
“This is an emergency and everyone understands it,” he said.
He said the arrival of two Royal Caribbean cruisers and two carnival cruise ships is expected on Friday. Islands that said they would accept evacuees include Saint Lucia, Grenada, Barbados and Antigua.
Gonsalves added that he warmly recommends those who decide to go to a shelter in St. Louis. Vincent and the Grenadines, an island chain with more than 100,000 people, vaccination.
Scientists warned the government of a possible eruption after noting a type of seismic activity at 3 a.m. Thursday that indicated “magma in motion near the surface,” Joseph said.
“Things are escalating fairly quickly,” she said of the volcanic activity, adding that it is impossible to give an accurate forecast of what could happen in the coming hours or days.
The team from the seismic center arrived in St. Vincent in late December after the volcano had an eruptive eruption. Among other things, they analyzed the formation of a new volcanic dome, changes in its crater lake, seismic activity and gas emissions.
The volcano last erupted in 1979, and a previous eruption in 1902 killed about 1,600 people.
The Eastern Caribbean is also home to other active volcanoes. Seventeen of the region’s 19 living volcanoes are located on 11 islands, and the remaining two are underwater near the island of Grenada, including one called Kick ‘Em Jenny, which has been active in recent years.
The most active volcano in the region in recent years is Soufriere Hills in Montserrat, which has been erupting continuously since 1995, destroying the capital Plymouth and killing at least 19 people in 1997.
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