Gov’t expected to detail how the BVI will assist St Vincent
The BVI government is expected to release an official statement today, informing residents of the kind of assistance it can offer St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) as the eruption of the La Soufriere volcano continues to affect that nation.
Back in January before the volcano erupted, the BVI government had indicated that it stands ready to assist if SVG called for help.
La Soufriere began erupting on Friday, April 9, blanketing the nation in ash and smoke and forcing some 16,000 residents out of their homes. Overall, it’s estimated that some 20,000 people will be displaced.
It’s also understood that the volcanic ash had started to impact the Grenadines, Barbados, and St Lucia — all neighbouring islands.
Several other Caribbean countries have so far pledged support, with some committing to house evacuees if necessary.
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) also said it is now actively coordinating a multi-tiered response intended to effectively support ongoing efforts to address citizens, residents, and organisations’ immediate, medium and longer-term needs.
“The first tier will involve supporting the regional response mechanism through the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). The second tier will entail the provision of funds to assist with urgent needs at the national level. CDB is maintaining active lines of communication with the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines. The response here will be tailored by the immediate support requested by the government and the damage assessment,” a release from the CDB said.
La Soufriere last erupted in 1979, causing more than $100 million worth of damage on the island, according to a BBC report.
The worst eruption on record, in 1902, killed more than 1,000 people.
Officials have reported increased activity from Mount Pelee on the island of Martinique; north of St Vincent.