News, Regional News

BVI stands ready to assist Vincentians as volcanic activity continues

Published 27 January, 2021


Buckie Got It, St. Kitts and Nevis News Source

La Soufriere Volcano in St Vincent. (Photo by @uwiseismic/twitter)

As the La Soufriere Volcano in St Vincent and the Grenadines continues to threaten citizens, the BVI has indicated that it stands ready to assist if that country calls for help.

The volcano is being monitored by regional and international authorities and no evacuation orders have been issued.

But a report from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency said the volcano continues to exude magma and steam and residents were warned to brace for strong sulphuric smells.

Deputy Premier, Dr Natalio Wheatley said St Vincent and the Grenadines hasn’t called on the BVI for any assistance.

“The BVI has a strong relationship with St Vincent and the Grenadines. We have many residents and Belongers who originated from that nation. We have a strong spirit of cooperation that will only grow as time passes,” Dr Wheatley indicated.

He added: “St Vincent and the Grenadines has not indicated that they needed assistance in this area, but I am sure Prime Minister [Ralph] Gonsalves will reach out to Premier Fahie or this will be discussed in CARICOM or the OECS and the BVI stands ready to engage once any request has been made.”

Dr. Wheatley did not state whether the BVI would be willing to temporarily house residents of St. Vincent if evacuation orders are issued. So far, St. Lucia has given the assurance that it would be willing to take residents if the volcano forces them to leave their homes.

The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (UWI SRC) has advised that, based on the complex patterns of previous eruptions, it is too early to conclude that the current activity will remain as it is.

“There is still a possibility of a shift to an explosive phase. A definitive prognosis on the current unrest episode cannot be provided until further data analysis is completed,” the UWI SRC said.

According to Premier Andrew Fahie, there are more than 2,000 Vincentian nationals presently residing in the BVI. Recently, residents in the BVI with familial ties to St Vincent and the Grenadines told BVI News they are concerned about their relatives in that country.

La Soufriere last erupted in 1979.

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