St. Vincent volcano: island on red alert for ‘imminent’ eruption

The island is on red alert, meaning an eruption “is imminent,” said NEMO.

Evacuation orders are in effect in about a dozen districts of St. Vincent, affecting about 6,000 to 7,000 people, a spokesman for the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center, or UWI-SRC, told CNN.

St. Vincent is the largest island of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines chain in the Caribbean.

According to UWI-SRC, scientists at the Belmont Observatory in St. Vincent observed a volcanic quake on the island at approximately 3 am local time.

The first band of vibrations was followed by four more, no later than 1:00 pm. This type of seismic signal is usually associated with movement of magma and liquids close to the surface, according to UWI-SRC.

Steam clouds could also be seen from the observatory during the tremors.

The volcano has had five explosive eruptions – in 1718, 1812, 1814, 03/1902 and 1979, according to the seismic research center.

According to Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of National Security, Prime Minister Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago has spoken with Gonsalves and offered assistance.

Venezuela will send humanitarian aid supplies and risk experts, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said on his Twitter account.