The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) on Monday March 29 2021 briefed the Cabinet of Ministers on the La Soufrière Volcano in St. Vincent and the Grenadines as Saint Lucia stands ready to assist our sister island.
Monitoring scientists from The UWI Seismic Research Centre (SRC) have recently noted a change in seismic activity associated with the ongoing eruption of the La Soufrière Volcano. The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) is closely monitoring the ongoing situation and due to our close proximity, Saint Lucia is preparing for various scenarios.
The Situation Overview to Cabinet, was conducted by Director of NEMO Ms. Dorine Gustave and Deputy Director Ms. Maria Medard, who spoke about Saint Lucia’s preparations including meetings of the various District Disaster Committees. The director informed on Saint Lucia’s capacity for evacuees from danger zones to safe zones.
“If there is an eruption we are preparing for ash fall in Saint Lucia and also air quality issues in the south,” stated the Director, adding that preparations are being made for shelters and various agencies have been activated. “The implications for Saint Lucia were presented whether it be financial, human or otherwise. The Cabinet of Ministers have pledged their support in whatever way if the need arises. We are asking Saint Lucians to remain calm as there is no need to panic. NEMO is working to put all our plans in place.”
The director clarified that an evacuation order has not been issued in St Vincent and the Grenadines, however, Saint Lucia has to remain prepared for any event. NEMO is set to begin an aggressive public education and sensitization campaign within local communities.
Prime Minister Honourable Allen Chastanet expressed that he has been in contact with officials in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and called on citizens to remain vigilant and reiterated that Saint Lucia will continue to monitor the progress of this volcanic event.