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St. Vincent | Help arrives for evacuation and support says Gonsalves

  • Written by wiredja.com news team
  • Published in Environment
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES - Kingstown, April 10, 2021 - Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves says he is satisfied with the continuous out-pouring  of support his country has been receiving from all over the Caribbean, United States, Canada, Europe and China among others, since yesterday's eruption of the La Soufriere volcano.

Dr. Gonsalves made his comments as he spoke with reporters as he travelled  around St. Vincent, to observe the level of damage and to ensure that persons evacuated their homes to prevent being harmed by the ash and lava flow.

Lead scientist monitoring La Soufriere volcano, Professor Richard Robertson, said the new dome that was forming in the crater of La Soufriere for months has been blown off in the explosive eruptions, sending at least 13 million cubic metres of material into the atmosphere.

 The volcanologist who is leading the team of scientists monitoring the volcano, said satellite image shows “where the material is coming out, where the dome was coming out, where it originally came out; it now has nothing there. It has an opening and that is where material is now coming out and that’s going up in the air.

“It seems that a substantial amount of the 2021 dome has gone, it’s been destroyed. It seems that all that black 915 [ft] length piece of bits of rock, all that 13 million cubic metres of material has mainly been destroyed in the activity that we’ve had so far.”

“It doesn’t appear that it has done very much to the 1979 dome so far, but it’s one satellite imagery, it’s not clear what it actually shows, but certainly there is a hole now; a proper vent from which material is being ejected,” he further stated on NBC radio yesterday morning.

The ash from the volcano has blanketed parts of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and other Caribbean countries including Barbados and Saint Lucia.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness continues to monitor the latest developments of the volcanic eruption of the La Soufriere Volcano in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and noted that ash fall is the most likely volcanic hazard, which can result in eye, skin and breathing problems.

Exposure to ash fall can result in cough, breathlessness, chest tightness, and wheezing due to irritation of the lining of the airways by fine particles. The following can assist in protecting people against the harmful effects of ash fall:

STAY INDOORS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

• Remain indoors as much as possible, especially if you have breathing problems like bronchitis or asthma.

• If you must go outside: - Use a mask or handkerchief for breathing (or a damp cloth) - Wear protective clothing to cover your skin. - Use goggles to protect the eyes (If you wear eyeglasses, use those instead of contact lenses)

• Stop ash from entering your home by closing windows and doors securely.

• Do not use air-conditioning or clothes dryers.

• Listen to the radio for advice and information.

• Avoid driving vehicles as much as possible, as ash fall will reduce visibility.

• If you must drive, avoid using the car’s air condition system.

• Keep pets indoors and livestock sheltered.

FOOD AND WATER SAFETY

• Ensure that all fruits and vegetables are washed carefully, especially those covered with ash. Ash should not be ingested.

• Ensure that your drinking supply (roof tanks etc.) has not been contaminated with ash. Ash gives drinking-water an unpalatable (sour, metallic or bitter-tasting) before it presents a health risk. In this event roof tank water should be replaced.

CLEANING UP

• Wetting ash results in the formation of a glue-like material which is not easy to remove. The best way of cleaning is to lightly damp the ash (to prevent it billowing) and to sweep it up.

• Remove ash (when safe), remembering that ash particles may contain sharp broken edges making it a very abrasive material.

• Clean house roofs first to reduce windblown ash covering cleaned areas or damage to guttering and blocking down-pipes.

• Dispose of ash in rubbish bags if possible and seal them.

• Do not dump ash in the storm-water or sewage system.

• Vacuum indoor surfaces were possible or use a damp cloth to remove ash. Avoid vigorous rubbing.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness urges the public to please adhere to the guidance and visit the nearest Wellness Centre if experiencing any respiratory signs or symptoms.

For more information please contact the Office of the Chief Medical Officer or the Epidemiology Unit, at 468-5309/468-5317 respectively

Last modified onSunday, 11 April 2021 02:33
  • Countries: St_Vincent_Grenadines