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St. Vincent Without Power as Volcano Erupts Intermittently

A man rides his bicycle past fields covered with volcanic ash a day after the La Soufriere volcano erupted, in Kingstown, on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent, April 10, 2021.

Much of the Caribbean island of St. Vincent remained without power and covered in ash Sunday as another “explosive event” occurred at La Soufriere volcano.

The volcano initially erupted on Friday, its first time since 1979, spurring evacuations as well as warnings to people on neighboring islands to stay indoors to avoid ashfall.

About 16,000 people have fled their communities, but there have been no reports of deaths or injuries, according to the Associated Press. People took refuge in 78 government-run shelters and four empty cruise ships stood by to evacuate residents to nearby islands, the AP said.

Scientists anticipate that more eruptions are likely to occur. St. Vincent is the main island in the 32-island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The island’s National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) said Sunday that “another explosive event” had led to power outages across the island.

But some residents said power was restored by the early afternoon, Reuters reported.

Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves estimated Sunday that as many as 20,000 people could be internally displaced for months as the volcano activity continues intermittently, according to Reuters.

“Most crops on the island will be lost, and untold livestock,” he said.

Elford Lewis, 56, evacuated Sunday morning. He witnessed La Soufriere’s last big eruption in 1979.
“This one is more serious,'' Lewis told the AP.

An eruption of the 1,220-meter (4,003-foot) volcano in 1902 killed roughly 1,600 people.