“This is a culmination of the seismic activity that began on April 8. The eruption is ongoing,” the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre said, as reported by outlet CNW.
Since early morning, thousands of people have been evacuated from the towns closest to the volcano. Local authorities announced that cruise ships would transport them to safe areas.
The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) also reported that other inhabitants are being accommodated in shelters. It is estimated that up to 16,000 people could be evacuated due to this volcanic event.
The islands of St. Lucia, Dominica, Grenada, Barbados, and Antigua have offered to take in evacuees. The volcano is currently spewing only steam, although during the night it was spewing particles of fire and its dome was sizzling hot.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, health authorities indicated that evacuees will be vaccinated before being moved to other countries.
On Thursday, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves ordered the immediate evacuation of the northeast and northwest area of his country, which has about 110,000 inhabitants.
The geologist who monitors the activity of La Soufriere, Richard Robertson, reported that long-lasting movements were recorded. This indicates that fresh magma is trying to reach the surface and that the volcano may move to an explosive stage in the next hours or days.