Trinidad Coast Guard to help if evacuation becomes necessary

By Admin. Updated 10:51 a.m., Wednesday, December 30, 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves says the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard has volunteered to help with evacuation of persons in the north of the country, by sea, if the worse happens with the La Soufriere volcano.

On NBC Radio on Wednesday, the prime minister said he was informed by the local coast guard commander in St. Vincent and the Grenadines that the head of the coast guard in Trinidad volunteered to support evacuation efforts if it becomes necessary.

Currently, there is an Orange Level Alert in St. Vincent and the Grenadines as the La Soufriere volcano erupted effusively on December 29, 2020.

But, there is currently no evacuation order or notice in place.

If evacuation become necessary, persons in the northeastern corridor of the country (Georgetown to Fancy), and in the northwestern corridor (Belle Isle to Richmond), some 20,000 people, will be evacuated and some may be evacuated by sea to tother parts of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Dr. Gonsalves said shelters in other parts of the country and hotels and guest houses will be used to house such persons, in the event of evacuations and with the necessary COVID-19 protocols.  

Scientists are expected to arrive from the Seismic Center at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus to evaluate the situation, conduct more testing and provide more data to influence the decisions going forward.

The last eruption of La Soufriere was in 1979 and it was an explosive eruption which led to the displacement of thousands of people.

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