Basseterre, St. Kitts (WINN) – St Kitts and Nevis is offering St. Vincent and the Grenadines EC$1 million to help with the evacuation of people who lived in the danger zone of the La Soufriere volcanic eruption.
Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris made the announcement Saturday, a day after St. Kitts and Nevis National Disaster Mitigation Council met to discuss the fallout from the volcanic eruption that has displaced close to 20,000 people
A contribution of US$20,000 is being made to the Special Emergency Assistance Fund of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).
St. Kitts and Nevis is also offering shelter for up to 300 Vincentians.
Officers of the local police and defense forces will work with the Regional Security System (RSS) to provide support for humanitarian, technical, and peacekeeping efforts, Dr. Harris said.
An earlier press release quoted Dr. Harris as reporting that 12000 people were to be evacuated but St Vincent and the Grenadines only had a capacity for 5000 people in shelters so 7000 would have to find shelter in other countries or on cruise ships.
He added that 8000 people could find accommodation with relatives and friends in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is coordinating the response to the Needs List provided by the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines
The items requested on that list include cots, blankets, and peripheral water tanks.
La Soufriere erupted Friday morning after months of rumbling, sending hot ash and smoke20,000 ft in the air.
Smaller eruptions continued Friday and Saturday blanketing St Vincent and the Grenadines, and neigbouring islands like Barbados, with ash.
The last eruption of the La Soufriere ( French for the Sulphur Mine) was in 1979.
It has erupted five times since 1718.
An eruption in 1902 reportedly killed 1680 people, hours before the eruption of Mount Pelee in Martinique killed 29,000 people.