La Soufrière (Vincentian Creole: Soufra) or Soufrière Saint Vincent began erupting on Friday morning, less than 24 hours after an evacuation order was issued for residents near the volcano.
The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre said the eruption began at 8:41 a.m. (Eastern Caribbean time).
“This is a culmination of the seismic activity that began on April 8. The eruption is ongoing, and more information will be shared as things progress,” it said in a brief statement.
On Thursday afternoon, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves ordered the evacuation of people living in the red zone, after the lead scientist monitoring the volcano, Professor Richard Robertson, said activity had intensified significantly and an eruption could occur within 24 to 48 hours.
La Soufriere last erupted explosively on April 13, 1979.
At 1,234 m (4,049 ft), La Soufrière is the highest peak on Saint Vincent as well as the highest point in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
La Soufrière has had five explosive eruptions during the recorded historical period. It violently erupted in 1718, 1812, 1902, and 1979.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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