Search icon


14th Apr 2021

St Vincent inhabitants urged to evacuate island amid new volcanic eruptions

Claudia McInerney

Inhabitants of St Vincent are asked to evacuate the island following signs that La Soufrière could erupt again

The Prime Minister of the Carribean island of St Vincent, Ralph Gonsalves, has asked residents to leave the island following a warning that more eruptions are expected to take place in the coming days.

The La Soufrière volcano on the island first erupted on 9 April, releasing huge amounts of ash into the air. This led to approximately 16,000 people being asked by the government to leave their homes, it has been reported.

Further explosions occurred over the weekend, however these were smaller in scale.

On Twitter, the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre said: “The volcano continues to erupt explosively and has now begun to generate pyroclastic density currents. Explosions and accompanying ashfall, of similar or larger magnitude, are likely to continue to occur over the next few days.”

This is the first time La Soufrière has erupted since 1979.

Erouscilla Joseph, director of the University of the West Indies’ seismic research centre said:

“It’s destroying everything in its path, anybody who has not heeded the evacuation needs to get out immediately.”

June Shipley, who is in St Vincent visiting relatives, told the BBC there was a common fear in the area that a larger eruption could occur.

She told the BBC: “We do hear the rumblings of the volcano and we do see the smoke.”

The UWI research centre shared images after the volcanic eruption, which showed the ash covering the ground.


Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves took to Twitter to thank neighbouring countries for their support, supplies and donations.

In a Tweet, he said: “Thank you Trinidad and Tobago, for your support and generosity in our time of great need. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is eternally grateful.”

He also thanked the people of Venezuela and the country’s government.

Timothy Harris, the Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, pledged $1 to support the island of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

In response to the donation, Gonsalves said on Twitter: “Thank you my brother @pmharriskn and the people of St. Kitts and Nevis for the generous pledge of support during this very challenging situation facing us here in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.”