Engraving ‘after Agostino Brunias’ (ca 1801) entitled A Negro Festival drawn from Nature in the Island of St Vincent. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
People that ignored an initial warning to evacuate an area near a volcano on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent rushed to evacuate that area Saturday, a day after the volcanic eruption sent an explosion shaking the ground, spewing ash into the sky and covering the island in a thin layer of volcanic rock.
The outburst in La Soufriere on Friday – the first major one since 1979 – has turned the island’s lush towns and villages into grim grey versions of themselves.
A strong sulphuric odour was inevitable on Saturday, and ash covered everything, creeping into houses, cars and nostrils, obscuring the sun that makes the island so much preferred by tourists.
Scientists have warned the explosions are likely to last for days and even weeks, and the worst may be yet to happen.
“The first bang is not necessarily the biggest bang this volcano will give,”Richard Robertson
‘The first bang isn’ t necessarily the biggest bang that this volcano will produce,’ Richard Robertson, a geologist with the University of Western Indian’ s Centre for Seismic Research, told a news conference.
Around 16.000 people had to be put into suitcases and backpacks with as many belongings as possible.
The ash had forced multiple flights to be cancelled, and poor visibility limited evacuations to some areas.
Officials warned that St. Lucia in the north and Grenada in the south could see mild ash clouds, although much of that should flow northeast into the Atlantic.