Power cuts hit Saint Vincent in the middle of a volcano eruption

KINGSTOWN, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, (Reuters) – The Caribbean’s Saint Vincent island was hit by another explosive event of the La Soufriere volcano early today, triggering power outages and water cuts in some areas, while blanket clouds began to blanket parts of the island of Barbados.

After decades of inactivity, the volcano erupted on Friday, spewing dark clouds of ash about 10 km (6 miles) into the air and prompting the evacuation of thousands of people on the island. The volcano has continued to rumble and vent ashes ever since.

This morning, Saint Vincent’s National Emergency Management Institute (NEMO) reported a massive power outage after “another explosive event” in the volcano. However, by 12 pm ET (1600 GMT), power had been restored, residents said.

“Explosions and related falls, of a similar size or larger, are likely to continue over the coming days,” said the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center on Twitter.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which has a population of just over 100,000, has not experienced volcanic activity since 1979, when an explosion created about $ 100 million in damages. An explosion by La Soufriere in 1902 killed more than 1,000 people. The name means “sulfur outlet” in French.

Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves said the government believes about 20,000 people will be internally displaced for about three to four months.

“Historically, the volcano is still going intermittent for a few months,” he said. “Most crops on the island will be lost, and livestock not folded.”

Some houses on the island have also collapsed due to the weight of the ash, Gonsalves added.

In the tourist island of Barbados, about 178 km (110 miles) from Saint Vincent, the meteorological services agency said a varying intensity of ashes affects the island. Videos posted on social media show a thin layer of ash coating cars and even the country’s airport, which remains closed.