After several weeks of rumble, the volcano La Soufriere, located on the northern side of the island, erupted on Friday.
In the evacuated areas, approximately 16,000 of the island’s total population of about 110,000 live. For those who stayed, the ash layer meant they woke up to something reminiscent of a snow-covered winter landscape, according to local media.
Now a period of uncertainty awaits the island and its inhabitants.
When does the risk end? The rattling, plumes of ash and smoke from the volcano attest to continued activity.
“The first eruption is not necessarily the largest of this volcano,” geologist Richard Robertson told the Guardian in a press conference.
What will happen to the ashes? In the short term, this is a problem, especially for those parts of the island that have not been evacuated.
– Breathing difficulty. Prime Minister Ralph Gonçalves says what goes up has to go down.
It indicates the ash cloud still flying over the volcano.
– This would seriously harm agriculture, Gonsalves continues.
Large parts of Saint Vincent now lack water and air traffic has stopped due to ash. Around 3,000 people spend the night in makeshift housing.
What happens to the evacuees? Neighboring countries like Antigua and Barbuda have offered help, but no one knows when they can return.
The question is what happens after they leave? Volcanoes don’t reveal what they’re thinking. If the outbreaks persist for too long, they will change their lives. Depending on the type of outbreak, it could take several years before they can return home, says Philmore Mullin of Antigua and Barbuda Disaster Service.