Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines issued an evacuation order on Thursday 8th May, after several days of increased seismic activity associated with La Soufrière volcano:
“Acting on the advice of the Director of the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO), and pursuant to sections 33 and 40 of the National Emergency and Disaster Management Act, Chapter 88 of the Laws of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, I hereby order as follows:
- The evacuation of all premises in the areas designated as the RED ZONE on the North East and the North West of St. Vincent and the evacuation of the area itself.
- The exclusions of persons, vessels or vehicles from such premises and areas, save and except for the purpose of effecting the said evacuation.
This order would be published tomorrow but it has effect immediately because under section 40, an order made by me as the Prime Minister, to this effect, is immediate. So, there is now, in the country, an evacuation order.
All arrangements have now kick started and the process begins.”
Approximately 16,000 people live in the red zone and will need to be evacuated. This morning (Friday 9th April) NEMO reported the volcano La Soufriere erupted at 8:30 am local time, as plumes of ash could be seen rising 8km [5 miles] from the volcano.