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Appeal from the Bishop of the Windward Islands

 

Appeal from the Bishop of the Windward Islands Re- Explosive Eruption of La Soufriere Volcano in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 14th April, 2021 

Late December, 2020 the La Soufriere Volcano in St. Vincent began to have some effusive eruptions and a dome developed. On Thursday morning 8th April, 2021 it started to show signs that it may become explosive, so the Prime Minister declared an evacuation order around 5:00pm for those in the red zone. This involves approximately 20,000 persons. 

The Volcano began to erupt explosively on Friday morning around 8:40am. There have been several explosive eruptions since and the whole island experienced ashfalls along with neighbouring islands like Barbados, Grenada and St. Luica.In areas closer to the volcano orange and red zones there were falling stones/lava rocks. Several houses collapsed under the weight of the ash/lava stones on their roofs. We had to batten down and remain indoors. On the morning of 12th April, 2021 at about 4:30AM there was another explosive eruption and there were pyroclastic flows in the red zone. These are quite dangerous. At about 6:30AM on 13th April, 2021 the 42nd anniversary of the 1979 eruption there was another explosive eruption. The lead scientist is of the view that the eruptions may continue for a while and that several persons may not be able to return to their homes after the eruptions cease. 

The ashfall affected the water source so we have been without pipe borne water for extended periods. The electricity supply was also interrupted for different periods in various places. The ashfall/lava stones have destroyed large areas of vegetation and agricultural produce. 

People are being housed in schools, churches, church halls, community centers, private homes, guest houses etc. The Church is responsible for several emergency centers across the country and there is the immediate need to provide for these persons and those in private homes and guesthouses: water, food, underwear, clothing, pampers for children and adults, toiletries, liquid soap, towels, sheets, medication, face mask, sanitizers and addressing their emotional needs and more. In some cases, constructing temporary baths and cleaning up of ash, especially around emergency shelters. 

There is also a list of needs from the National Emergency Relief Organisation (NEMO). 

The Supermarkets, stores and pharmacies are still opened so some items can be purchased locally. So, if you prefer to make monetary donations please see the information attached. 

This is a long journey, at the moment it is not possible to do an assessment of damages to housing, churches, other buildings, loss of livestock, agriculture and infrastructure for the explosive eruptions continue. 

With every good wish and God’s blessings 

Yours sincerely 

The Rt. Rev’d C. Leopold Friday 

Bishop of the Windward Islands 

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