La Soufriere volcano erupted Friday on the Caribbean Island of St. Vincent. The eruption blasted a cloud of ash 6 miles high. More eruptions are possible. Volcanologists warn that the mountain’s explosive activity could go on for weeks.
St. Vincent sits 500 miles southeast of Puerto Rico in the eastern Caribbean Sea. According to The Weather Channel, 16,000 people reside in the “red zone” near the volcano. Likewise, many of them heeded the evacuation warnings that started on Thursday. In response to this, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises announced on Thursday their plan to send ships to St. Vincent in the Caribbean for resident evacuations.
Both cruise lines are collaborating with St. Vincent authorities to aid vulnerable residents. Royal Caribbean International’s Serenade of the Seas and Celebrity Cruises’ Reflection are en route to the island and are anticipated to arrive tonight for evacuation support. They are also taking necessary measures to ensure the well-being of the crew and passengers on board.
La Soufriere volcano resides on the northern part of St. Vincent. Most importantly, no casualties have been reported yet. St. Vincent’s National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) announced on its Facebook page that La Soufriere erupted at 8:40AM local time. Apart from the cruise lines, neighboring islands such as St. Lucia, Grenada, Barbados, and Antigua have offered help by accommodating refugees from St. Vincent.
Researches in the vicinity detected earthquakes at the sight before the eruption. Magma was also rising toward the surface. La Soufriere on St. Vincent last erupted on April 13, 1979.