Volcano erupts on Caribbean island, sending ash 20,000 feet into the air
KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent - A volcano on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean erupted Friday morning, sending ash plumes 20,000 feet into the air, CNN reports.
The volcano, La Soufrière, is located on the largest island of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines chain, the country's National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) said.
At 8:41 am this morning 9-4-21 an explosive eruption began at La Soufrière volcano in St. Vincent. This is a culmination of the seismic activity that began on April 8. The eruption is ongoing and more information will be shared as things progress. #lasoufriere #uwi #volcano #svg pic.twitter.com/C2zWrjPcpP— UWISeismic Research (@uwiseismic) April 9, 2021
"Explosive eruption at La Soufrière," NEMO tweeted. "Ash plumes up to 20,000 feet headed East," it added.
"Please leave the red zone immediately. La Soufrière has erupted. Ash fall recorded as far as Argyle International Airport," it said.
Locals were urged to evacuate Thursday and Friday, mere hours before the eruption.
A disaster alert was issued by St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves on Thursday and the island was placed on red alert, meaning an eruption was "imminent."
Evacuation orders were issued for nearly a dozen districts of St. Vincent, affecting roughly 6,000 to 7,000 people, according to a spokesperson with the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre, or UWI-SRC.