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. As a result of this, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises announced on Thursday that they would “send ships to St. Vincent in the Caribbean to evacuate residents.”
“Both cruise lines are working closely with St. Vincent authorities to assist residents most at risk. Royal Caribbean International’s Serenade of the seas and Celebrity Cruises’ Reflection are on their way to the island nation and are expected to arrive later this evening to assist with evacuation efforts.” Additionally, they aimed to take precautions “to protect the health and safety of the crew and passengers who board our ships.”
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. In addition to the cruise lines, the neighboring islands of St. Lucia, Grenada, Barbados, and Antigua agreed to provide assistance by taking refugees fleeing 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.