St. Vincent & Grenadines

St. Vincent & the Grenadines: La Soufrière Volcano Situation Report No. 02 (As of 11 April 2021)

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Situation Report
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This situation report is produced by the UN Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Country Emergency Technical Team (UNETT) in collaboration with humanitarian partners on behalf of the United Nations Subregional Team (UNST). It is issued by the Office of the Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean with the support of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

HIGHLIGHTS

• As of 11 April, intervals between tremors have lasted between 1.5 to 3 hours. Based on visual observations and satellite imagery, the intervals are associated with periods of explosive activity or enhanced venting of the volcano. Explosions and accompanying ashfall, of similar or larger magnitude, are likely to continue to occur over the next few days. Satellite imagery can be seen here.

• 54% of shelters lack basic services such as water, hygiene, and sanitation (WASH) and 63% of emergency shelters show increasing presence of unaccompanied women and girls.2 • On 11 April, Saint Vincent experienced a massive power outage around 1:00 am following another explosive event. This poses serious challenges for shelters that do not have auxiliary power.

• The United Nations at the request of the Prime Minister Hon Dr Ralph E. Gonsalves activated a mechanism to mobilize a team of experts that includes volcanologist or environmental toxicologists through UNEP to develop and implement a plan for debris management including cleanup of ashes and promote environmental health and safety.

• PAHO and WFP personnel have been deployed to support health and humanitarian efforts.

• Airports in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are closed and there is a limited availability of maritime assets.

30 Approximately 30 villages evacuated

16-20K Estimated number of people affected

3.5K Estimated number of people in shelters

85 Shelters have been activated

SITUATION OVERVIEW

On 11 April, NEMO indicated that there were pyroclastic flows (pyroclast is a cloud of hot ash and rock) at La Soufrière Volcano and possible destruction and devastation of communities close to the volcano. The current activity pattern is similar to that of the 1902 eruption and implies that the eruptions will cause more damage and destruction.

On 11 April, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) indicated that eighty-five (85) shelters were occupied with approximately 3,586 people. There is an undisclosed number of self-evacuees, who are staying with family and friends. 5 On 9 April at approximately 8:41 am, the La Soufrière volcano entered an explosive eruptive phase with the first column of ash as high as 10 km.

On 8 April, seismic activity at La Soufrière Volcano changed significantly when the seismic station closest to the summit began recording low-level seismic tremors. The volcano entered a heightened period of activity indicative of a fresh batch of magma either near to or approaching the surface. On 8 April, following significant seismic activity, there was an explosive event at the volcano site. Following an emergency meeting of Cabinet and the National Emergency Council, the alert level was raised to RED and an Evacuation Order Issued.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.