Things have become more complicated in that rains have started to arrive and the rainfall causes lahars. A lahar is a volcanic ash/mud flow caused by heavy rains. Reports of ash accumulation on the island vary from 1 inch to over 14 inches. Rainfalls in excess of 10 inches have taken place in isolated locations over the last few days.
The island of St Vincent is dominated by La Soufriere and a general hilliness. The rains drain from the upper elevations toward the sea via the many rivers on the island. In earlier years, such rains caught unsuspecting people in the shallow portions of the rivers near the coastline and washed them out into the Caribbean. Now the lahars are exacerbating an already bad situation.
Relief efforts are being managed by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), an agency formed by the regional governments.
Up to date status can be found by visiting the National Emergency Management Office website or Facebook page. At present, CDEMA is need of an additional 200 portable toilets and 4 sanitation trucks. Nearby islands are sending as many relief supplies as they can.
Information on how to donate in order to aid the relief effort is listed on the English Churchman website: www.englishchurchman.com.