SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Island of St Vincent said on Thursday he believed an active volcano was in danger of erupting and had ordered mandatory evacuations

The island’s emergency management office raised the alert level to red as authorities prepared to evacuate people living near La Soufrière volcano and place them on cruise ships , send them to neighboring islands or take them to shelters elsewhere in St Vincent which are outside the danger zone

About 16,000 people live in the red zone and will 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 told a press conference that people should be vaccinated if they board a cruise ship or are granted temporary refuge on another island He said two Royal Caribbean cruise ships are expected to arrive by Friday and a third within the next few days, as well as two Carnival cruise ships by Friday. Islands that have said they will accept evacuees include St Lucia, Grenada, Barbados and Antigua

“Not everything will go perfectly, but if we all cooperate… we will get through this situation stronger than ever,” said Gonsalves

He said he was talking to Caribbean governments about accepting identity cards from people who do not have passports

Gonsalves added that he strongly recommends those who choose to go to a refuge in St Vincent and the Grenadines, an island chain of over 100,000 residents, get vaccinated

Emergency management teams visited communities in the red zone and provided transport to safer locations, including pre-established shelters, according to Joseph

“They know who doesn’t have transportation because all of this has already been requested,” she said, adding that those who boarded the cruise ship would not be taken elsewhere but would stay there. for an indefinite period

Government officials tweeted that the dome of the volcano in the northern region of the island could be seen glowing at nightfall The alert issued on Wednesday follows days of seismic activity around La Soufrière

Scientists alerted the government to a possible eruption after noting a type of seismic activity at 3 a.m. Thursday, which indicated that “magma was moving near the surface,” Joseph said

“Things are escalating pretty quickly,” she said of the volcanic activity, adding that it was impossible to provide an exact prediction of what might happen in the hours or the next few days.

A team from the seismic center arrived in St Vincent at the end of December after an effusive eruption of the volcano They analyzed the formation of a new volcanic dome, changes in its crater lake, seismic activity and gas emissions , among others

The volcano last erupted in 1979, and a previous eruption in 1902 killed some 1,600 people

The Eastern Caribbean is home to other active volcanoes Seventeen of the region’s 19 living volcanoes are located on 11 islands, the remaining two 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 has been Soufriere de Montserrat, which has erupted continuously since 1995, destroying the capital of Plymouth and killing at least 19 people in 1997

Individual investors continue to pour money into stocks But their trading activity has peaked and they are returning to the pre-pandemic practice of buying funds

St Volcan Vincent

News from around the world – CA – St Vincent warns of volcanic eruption and orders thousands to evacuate