A United Nations official warned that the humanitarian crisis caused by the eruption of La Soufriere volcanic outburst on the Caribbean island of St Vincent will last for months.
Didier Trebucq told nearby islands including Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda could also be badly hit.He said the UN was about to set up an international funding appeal.
About 20,000 people have been removed from their homes since the La Soufrière volcano began erupting last Friday.
“Millions for Rawi’s wife but none for scholarships,” says Kamla
Mr Trebucq, the UN coordinator for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, stated that clouds of ash and gas were continuing to pour from the volcano every day.
He described the situation as “a crisis that will need a humanitarian acknowledgement but also an answer in terms of rehabilitation.
“This is a change that is working to last more than six months in the sub-region, in Saint Vincent, and other islands,” he said.
The UN says about 4,000 of those removed are now living in 87 shelters, many of which lack basic drinking water services. Others have moved in with family or colleagues, and some have taken boats to nearby islands.
Mr Trebucq said the water plan was the main advantage for aid teams, followed by the shelter.
“The clean-up of the ashes, finally, is attached significant advantage, in terms of environmental energy but also clean-up to make sure that life can come back to a routine outside the red zone as quickly as practicable,” he continued.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves stated that many residents were choosing to stay on the island rather than to be evacuated by ship despite the dangers many residents were choosing to stay on the island.
“There are some characters who want to go to many nations, but it is not a large number,” he told a Grenada TV programme.
“They said they need to stay at home. I must be about any of the camps, and that’s the word.”
When did the new eruptions begin?
The volcano had been dormant for decades, but in late 2020 it started thundering and then began blowing steam and smoke.
The first sign that an eruption was happening came last Thursday evening when a lava arch grew evident on La Soufrière.