SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Cots, tents, and respirator masks poured into the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent as officials expected to start distributing them on Saturday, a day after a powerful explosion at La Soufriere volcano uprooted the lives of thousands of people who evacuated their homes under government orders.
Nations ranging from Antigua to Guyana offered help by either shipping emergency supplies to their neighbor or agreeing to temporarily open their borders to the roughly 16,000 evacuees fleeing ash-covered communities with as many personal belongings as they could stuff into suitcases and backpacks.
The volcano, which last erupted in 1979, kept rumbling as experts warned that explosive eruptions could continue for days or possibly weeks. A previous eruption in 1902 killed some 1,600 people.
“The first bang is not necessarily the biggest bang this volcano will give,” Richard Robertson, a geologist with the University of the West Indies’ Seismic Research Center, said during a press conference.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves asked people to remain calm, have patience and keep protecting themselves from the coronavirus as he celebrated that no deaths or injuries were reported after the eruption in the northern tip of St. Vincent, part of an island chain that includes the Grenadines and is home to more than 100,000 people.Source…