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Volcano Dormant Since 1979 Smokes The Caribbean Sky As It Plumes Hot Ash

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Elizabeth Louise Contributor
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A dormant volcano in the southern Caribbean started spewing clouds of smoke and ash on Friday morning, forcing around 20,000 people to be evacuated, the New York Times (NYT) reported.

The La Soufriere volcano, located on the island of St. Vincent in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), has been dormant since 1979 and initially started showing signs of new activity in December 2020, the NYT reported.

“La Soufriere has moved into an explosive state. Plumes up to eight kilometers,” the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) for SVG tweeted. “Ash fall expected within five minutes.”

“Please leave the red zone immediately. La Soufriere has erupted. Ash fall recorded as far as Argyle International Airport,” NEMO SVG wrote on Twitter.

St. Vincent announced an evacuation order on Thursday for residents after experiencing several days of seismic activity, The Hill reported. (RELATED: Incredible Viral Video Shows A Majestic Volcano Explosion In Iceland)

“All arrangements have now kick-started and the process begins,” Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves announced at a press conference, the NYT reported.

Two cruise ships from Royal Caribbean and two from Carnival Cruise Line are reportedly expected to arrive at the island to transport people to nearby shelters and islands in order to assist in the evacuation efforts, according to The Guardian.

A third Royal Caribbean cruise ship is reportedly set to arrive in the upcoming days, according to The Guardian.

Gonsalves explained that people seeking to board cruise ships for evacuation from the island should be vaccinated while suggesting the same for people going to shelters elsewhere in St. Vincent, the NYT reported.

“La Soufriere Volcano erupted the second Friday in April (Friday April 13)in 1979. Four days shy of it’s anniversary it has again erupted on the second Friday in April (9) in 2021,” the NEMO announced in a tweet.

The volcano also erupted in 1718, 1812, 1814 and 1902, according to data from the Seismic Research Centre. The 1902 eruption killed 1,600 people.