Ash covered much of the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent on Saturday, and the stench of sulphur filled the air after a series of eruptions from a volcano that had been quiet for decades.
The thick dust was also on the move, traveling 175 kilometers (110 miles) to the east and starting to impact the neighboring island of Barbados.
“Barbadians have been urged to stay indoors as thick plumes of volcanic ash move through the atmosphere,” the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency said.
The whitish powder caked roads, homes and buildings in Saint Vincent after the powerful blasts from the volcano called La Soufriere that began Friday and continued into the night.
“Saturday morning on the island of over 110,000 residents looked like a winter wonderland, albeit blanketed by ash,” the news portal news784.com said.
Visibility in some areas was extremely limited, while in the capital city Kingstown on the south of the island — the volcano is in the north — the ash caused a thin haze of dust, the portal said.
“Vincentians are waking up to extremely heavy ash fall and strong sulphur smells which have now advanced to the capital,” the local emergency management agency tweeted.
The eruptions prompted thousands of people to flee for safety. Around 16,000 people live in areas under evacuation orders.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said Saturday that water has been cut off in most areas and the country’s air space is closed because of