Last updated on Thursday, 8 April 2021, 21:23 by Denis Chabrol
President Irfaan Ali said Thursday that the Guyana government is on hand to provide relief to St Vincent where residents in the northeastern part of the island were ordered to evacuate because the La Soufriere volcano could erupt at any time.
The Guyanese leader said that he and St. Vincent and the Prime Minister of the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves had spoken earlier Thursday and pledged Guyana’s help.
“I made a commitment to him that, upon receiving the full list of their needs, Guyana would immediately produce a national response to supply the items and arrange for them to be transported to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, ”said Dr. Ali.
Dr. confirmed that Gonsalves on Thursday afternoon said he was talking to several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders including President Guyana. A small number of Guyanese live in St. Vincent.
The Vincentian leader said at least 20,000 residents in the danger zone have been ordered to evacuate to shelters or offshore offshore to neighboring Caribbean islands such as Dominica, St. Louis. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Dr. Gonsalves said that two US-based cruise lines had agreed to send cruise ships to take evacuees off the island, but first they would have to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, COVID-19. Head of the National Institute of Emergency Management, Simone Forbes, said a “red alert” had been issued following reports from seismologists after several earthquakes and gas and steam spying from the new dome. “Our alert level is now raised to a red alert. It means an explosive explosion is imminent so we have raised the alert level to red and an evacuation order has been issued, ”he said.
Similarly, the Prime Minister said that evacuees seeking asylum in government-operated shelters would also have to be vaccinated against the potentially deadly virus. “We strongly recommend that you be vaccinated for your own health and that of others in the refuges. We don’t want to have a COVID outbreak in the refuges, ”he said.
Dr. appealed. Gonsalves on residents to be calm.
Earlier Thursday, Prime Minister Gonsalves said he had sought assistance from the US Southern Command and Venezuela.
He also announced that St. Vincent and the Grenadines have asked the World Bank to accelerate the release of funds from a special facility that was in progress before declaring an emergency.
The La Soufriere volcano erupted back to life about three months ago, having gone back to sleep since its last eruption in 1979.