Earlier this week, Dr. Reynold Murray, President of the Association of Evangelical Churches in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (AECSVG), reported on the impact of the eruption of the La Soufrière volcano on April 9, 2021.
Dr. Murray and the AECSVG are partnering with local congregations and EAC members to assist the 1600 displaced and vulnerable families. He has asked you to join with the AECSVG in prayer that in the midst of the disaster believers would display the love of Jesus to bring peace and transformation.
The most urgent need the people of St. Vincent need is access to clean water, and relief from the ash, which poses a health and safety challenge. The amount of ash, which spewed from the La Soufrière, resulted in collapsing roofs and affecting Barbados and other neighbouring islands.
Please support Dr. Murray and the EACSVG with your prayers.
Should you feel led to support the Evangelical Association of the Caribbean efforts in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, you can donate here.
Relief for St. Vincent & the Grenadines
Join with us in Prayer,
Evangelical Association of the Caribbean
The pattern of seismic activity changed again, with the end of the episodes of high-amplitude tremor 2-8 hours apart.
Three episodes of tremor have been recorded since 6am, two of them lower-amplitude and the third, at about 5pm, was high- amplitude.
The episodes continue to coincide with periods of enhanced venting or explosive activity
A reconnaissance of the entire north coast of St. Vincent from Chateaubelair to Georgetown with assistance from the Coast Guard.
Observations made indicate that pyroclastic density currents (PDCs) had descended several valleys on the southern and western flanks of the volcano and had reached the sea at Morne Ronde, Larikai and Trois Loupes Bay.
Extensive damage to vegetation was noted in an area extending from Larikai Bay to Turner Bay on the west coast.
No other areas along the coast had been affected by PDCs but villages located on the eastern flank of the volcano had been affected by heavy ashfall.
Explosions and accompanying ashfall, of similar or larger magnitude, are likely to continue to occur over the next few days with the chance of PDCs occurring.
Visit the International Volcanic Hazard Health Network for volcanic ash information resources:
Residents of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the nearby islands woke up to the news this morning that the erupting La Soufriere volcano had experienced its most dramatic eruption yet in the wee hours of Monday 12 April, sending pyroclastic flows tumbling down the eastern and western sides of the mountain for the first time. It was not the kind of report that the weary citizens of these southern Caribbean islands had hoped to hear.
Already struggling to cope with the devastating impact of thousands of tons of ash that had buried roads, smashed through roofs, ruined water sources and covered almost the entire country in a greyish-tan blanket of destruction up to a foot deep in some places, this new phase of the eruption had the potential to obliterate the villages which lay along the foothills of the mountain. This volcano’s fury was going to bring them to their knees.
In the neighbouring island nations of Barbados and St. Lucia, residents were trying to make sense of the ashfall they were witnessing from a volcano that was hundreds of miles away. The grey stuff that had drifted into their airways covered everything that was exposed, rooftops, roadways, sidewalks, cars, trees, fences. The air and sky over parts of Barbados were so densely permeated with the ash that motorists were forced to use headlights from as early as 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon on Sunday! The day’s rainfall had caused the dusty ash to transform into a heavy, dark grey goo which clogged drains, ruined surface water catchments and activated respiratory diseases all across the island of 300,000. The already bad situation was becoming worse.
Back on St. Vincent where up to a fifth of the population were now crowded into hastily arranged shelters or at the homes of friends and relatives in the south of the island, it was clear that this disaster had not reached its climax. And even as a tearful Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves expressed his government’s appreciation to the other Regional Governments which had pledged support in the forms of housing, food supplies and money, displaced residents began feeling the pinch of limited water, sanitary and sleeping supplies. There was also the underlying fear of a health disaster as Shelter Managers worried about the impact of a possible Covid-19 outbreak within their shelters. Collectively, this nation of 110,000 residents was holding its breath.
EAC Connect spoke about the situation at the Shelters with Dr. Roanne Harry, a member of the Christian Response Mission Team which had come together to coordinate the work of the Church and other interested NGO’s, “We have been doing a lot of work with the Families in the Shelters where the needs are greatest and the biggest need is water, for drinking, cooking and other basic sanitation purposes. While people had pre-packed some amount of clothing because of the period of notice provided by the volcano since December last year, they did not pack enough things like towels, wash cloths and sheets, so these items are in great demand. Canned food and food products are in critically short supply. The truth is that people have bought out everything on the shelves in the supermarkets. The only thing on most shelves is a film of ash”.
Added Dr. Harry, “Families with young children are especially impacted by the situation in the shelters. As a mother myself, I am worried that their young minds will struggle to process the chaos around them, the need to remain indoors in new and strange places and the fear of this sea of people who now suddenly occupy their living space. As you can imagine, that is a whole new and important aspect of this one disaster that has spawned so many other potential disasters in its wake”.
One of the issues being addressed by the authorities on the ground is the effort to reach residents of the Red Zone who should have evacuated but who had decided to remain to protect their livestock from poaching which had occurred after the 1979 eruption of La Soufriere. With roads now barely passable due to the sludge from the ash covering and with raging water flows at areas in Overland and Dry River, evacuation efforts have now escalated to rescue efforts involving the Special Services Unit of the military.
Dr. Roanne Harry stressed the gratitude of the members of the Christian Response Mission Team on the ground in St. Vincent to those persons and organizations in Trinidad and Barbados which have sent Supplies and which are mobilizing to send more in the coming days. She said, “We have had Supplies shipped to us via the Barbados and Trinidad Coast Guard Services and there is currently a Ferry collecting Supplies in Barbados to bring here. Our hearts go out to our Partners and Friends who continue to support our efforts to bring relief to those who have been dislocated by this disaster. Thank you!”
To give to the Christian Response Team, you may contact Dr. Roanne Harry at 1(784)494-9695.
Story by C. Stetson Roland
Photos Contributed by Shakika Fraser
Activity at the La Soufriere Hills Volcano on St. Vincent reached a crucial stage yesterday when the volcano, which had been coming to life over the last few months, had several violent eruptions, spewing ash and magma high into the sky.
Dormant for almost forty years since its last eruption on Good Friday 1979, La Soufriere had begun showing signs of rebirth in late 2020. Scientists from the University of the West Indies, flown in by the Government to monitor its progress, had recently reported a dramatic rise in its activity level and became alarmed at sharp increases in volcanic tectonic activity over the last few days. It was the Volcanologists’ report of serious escalation in tectonic tremors and smoke emissions from the expanding new dome that culminated in Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves’ call to evacuate at 5:00pm on Thursday.
With nightfall approaching, the people living in the Red Zoned area in the northern quadrant of the island had very little time to act on the Evacuation Notice. Yet, in fear and anxiety over the unknown, some twenty thousand rural Vincentians began moving out in earnest chaos. Men, women and children, all carrying backpacks and bags holding their most precious belongings poured unto the dusty streets. Some headed to the Port at Chateaubelair where a Ferry and other vessels were waiting; others seeking to leave by the land route crowded into assigned buses, private vans and cars and began the trip southward.
Speaking to EAC Connect, Rev. Shakika Fraser, Pastor of the Georgetown Wesleyan Holiness Church and District Superintendent of the denomination in St. Vincent and the Grenadines related some of what he encountered while trying to get his people evacuated from the area.
He said, “Most of my Church Members had already left by the time we made it up to Georgetown but there were still people trying to get out so we decided to help. We had to persuade a few persons to leave and some flatly refused to evacuate. Most of these persons told us they were staying to protect their livestock from poaching, as apparently there had been much loss of livestock to thieves after the 1979 eruption.”
“During one of the trips we made in the night, I was forced to make contact with a Colleague in the south who agreed to provide shelter in his Church building to a vanload of people who refused to go to the Government-run shelters where it was said everyone had to either prove they were vaccinated or had to take the vaccine!”
He continues, “It was heart-rending to have to pass persons by the roadside, bags in hand, at one o’clock in the morning. Many were Seniors who had probably gotten the evacuation call late or who had taken somewhat longer than their younger countrymen to mobilise themselves to leave their homes”.
Up and down in the north of the country, thousands of residents from the normally calm and easy-going villages and towns of Fits, Hughes, Chateaubelair, Fancy, Owia, Sandy Bay, Magum, Overland, Orange Hill, Georgetown, Byrea, Chester Cottage, Colonaire, Petit Bordel, Rose Bank, Rose Hall and several others have been forced to hastily flee the wrath of La Soufriere’s fury.
Speaking from his own experience in the process, Rev. Shakika shared the most critical needs of those who he has helped to evacuate from their homes: “Covered buckets, Folding cots, Sleeping Mats, Water, Masks and Hygiene kits”.
If you are interested in donating or otherwise contributing towards the Relief and Development Fund for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, you may contact Rev. Fraser at 1 (784) 526-1752.
1. The steaming/smoking at the La Soufriere Volcano has increased over the last few hours.
2. The alert level remains at Orange. The National Emergency Management Organisation is reminding the public that no evacuation order or notice has been issued.
3. Residents especially persons living in communities close to the volcano are encouraged to be prepared in the event that it becomes necessary to evacuate at short notice.
4. The National Emergency Management Organisation will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as it becomes necessary.
5th April, 2021
LA SOUFRIÈRE BULLETIN # 47 APRIL 05, 2021 6:00 PM
The new swarm of Volcano-Tectonic (VT) earthquakes which began at the La Soufrière Volcano at 6:38 am today continued at a fairly constant rate before starting to decline at about 2:00 p.m. Activities declined significantly at 4:00 p.m. although small Volcano-Tectonic earthquakes were still being recorded.
The current swarm of Volcano-Tectonic earthquakes have been located at a depth about 6 km below the summit of the La Soufrière Volcano. This is slightly deeper than those recorded between March 23 and 25, 2021 which were located at depths from 3 to 5 km below the summit. (Earlier estimates of these swarms were revised from 10 km to 3 to 5 km).
The largest Volcano-Tectonic earthquake was recorded at 2:16 pm today, with a magnitude of 3.9. There were nine more Volcano-Tectonic earthquakes in the swarm with magnitudes of 3.0 or more.
Today’s swarm of Volcano-Tectonic earthquakes were also much more intense compared to those which occurred during the period March 23-25 and contained many more small earthquakes, with an average rate of about 50 earthquakes per hour compared with 1.5 per hour in March.
There were several reports of earthquakes being felt today in communities close to the La Soufrière Volcano such as Fancy and Chateaubelair.
The alert level remains at Orange. The National Emergency Management Organisation is reminding the public that no evacuation order or notice has been issued.
The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) is also encouraging residents especially persons living in communities close to the volcano to be prepared in the event that it becomes necessary to evacuate at short notice.
A swarm of volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes at La Soufriere volcano began Monday morning, the National Emergency management Organisation (NEMO) says.
NEMO said that several of these earthquakes, which began before 7 a.m., are strong enough to be felt by communities on the flanks of the volcano.
“We have had reports of earthquakes being felt in Fancy and Sandy Bay. These earthquakes are continuing and we will continue to provide updates on any change in activities at the volcano,” NEMO said on Facebook.
This is the second time in just under two weeks that there has been a significant increase in VT earthquakes at La Soufriere, which has been erupting effusively since December 2020.
Last Wednesday, the lead scientist monitoring La Soufriere said the nation was “back into that sort of uncertain period” where it is not clear what the volcano will do next.
Professor Richard Robertson was referring to the elevated period of activity with the VT earthquakes between March 23 and 26.
“So, it means that we are back into that sort of uncertain period where we know it can change rapidly and it could possibly still go explosive or to could speed up in growth or it could stop,” Robertson said.
Robertson was peaking on VC3’s Round Table Talk, a programme on which Director of NEMO, Michelle Forbes urged Vincentians to prepare in the event of an explosive eruption of La Soufriere.
“…we cannot sit and think it is all over because we know we are in it for the long haul,” Forbes said.
“As I keep saying, I believe we are on borrowed time, the volcano has given us enough time to get things in order and we continue to basically prepare, think about the worst-case scenarios, think about the different scenarios, whether it can happen in the night, during the day and the different types of resources we will need for each event.”
La Soufriere last erupted explosively on April 13, 1979.
NATIONAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ORGANISATION (NEMO) MINISTRY OF NATIONAL SECURITY 24th March, 2021 NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Scientists Have Noted a Change in Seismic Activity Associated with the Ongoing Eruption of the La Soufriére Volcano Monitoring scientists at the Belmont Observatory led by scientists from ‘Ihe UWI Seismic Research Centre (SRC) have noted a change in seismic activity associated with the ongoing eruption of the La Soufriére Volcano. Up until 23 March 2021. the seismic activity had been dominated by very small low-frequency events which were associated with the ongoing extrusion of the lava dome. These were almost always only recorded at the seismic station closest to the dome. Starting at approximately 10:30 local time ( 14:30 UTC) on 23 March 2021. the monitoring network recorded a swarm of small low-fiequency seismic events which lasted for about 45 minutes. These events were different from previous activity in that they were also recorded on other stations. These events were probably associated with magma movement beneath the dome, although their depth cannot be determined. ‘Ihis is the first time that such a swarm has been seen Since the seismic network was upgraded in early 2021. Starting at 16:53 local time (20:53 UTC) on 23 March 2021, the monitoring network started recording volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes. These earthquakes are normally associated with underground fractures of the rock mass and are commonly generated by magma pushing through an unyielding tock mass. The volcano-tectonic earthquakes were located beneath the volcano, at depths down to 10 km below the summit. The largest of these had a magnitude of 2.6. Some of them have been reported felt by people living in communities close to the volcano such as Fancy Owia and Sandy Bay. At the present time the volcano-tectonic earthquakes continue, with the numbers of events fluctuating. The very-small dome-extrusion events also continue. The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) wishes to inform the public that earthquakes associated with the ongoing eruption Of the La Soufriére Volcano continue to occur from time to time and some of the largest ones may be felt. The alert level remains at Orange and no evacuation order or notice has been given. However, NEMO is encouraging residents especially person living in communities close to the volcano (i.e.. the Red and Orange Volcanic Hazard zone). to heighten their preparedness in the event that it becomes necessary to evacuate at short notice. The La Soufriére Volcano continues to be closely monitored by a locally based team consisting of scientists from the Soufriere Monitoring Unit (SMU), The UWI Seismic Research Centre (SRC) and the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO). This team work closely with an extended group based at the SRC (Trinidad) and MVO (Montserrat). The Team Lead at this time is Vincentian Professor Richard Robertson. The monitoring network use a variety of techniques to monitor the volcano that are constantly being improved and upgraded. National Emergency Management Office (NEMO). Montrose. Ministry Of National Security. Air and Sea Port Development Tel:784-456-297ä, Fax: 784-457-1691. Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook: