SVG: Alert Level changed to Red, evacuation order issued

By. Demion McTair. Updated 5:15 p.m., Thursday, April 8, 2021, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

Kingstown, St. Vincent: An evacuation order has been issued in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for all premises in the northeast and the northwest of mainland, St. Vincent as the situation at the La Soufriere volcano has deteriorated.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, at the second press conference held on Thursday, said the evacuation order is a tow-part order. The first part is for the evacuation of all premises in the areas designated as Red Zones in the northeast and northwest of the country, and the area itself.

The second part of the order is for “the exclusion of persons , vessels or vehicles from such premises and areas, save and except for the purpose of effecting the said evacuation”.

“This order will be published tomorrow but it has effect immediately,” the prime minister said, saying that the law allows the order to be immediate.

The prime minister said he made the order “acting on the advice of the Director of the National Emergency Management Organization – NEMO, and pursuant to sections 33 and 40 of the National Emergency and Disaster Management Act, Chapter 88 of the Laws of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

The decision came after a meeting of the National Emergency Council and after new data provided by the volcano monitoring system.

Professor Richard Robertson, head of the Seismic Research Center of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, also spoke at the press conference.

Professor Robertson said the last tremors were accompanied by a series of gas venting which shows that that material is trying to come up.

He said at this point “we cannot say fit sure and cannot give any clear warning,” but to guarantee the safety of people, we have to take certain decisions.

All emergency shelters are to be activated at this time, the Director of the National Emergency Management Organization – NEMO, Michelle Forbes said at the press conference.

Meanwhile, the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force has issued a release recalling all officers who are on leave.

All police officers on leave have been recalled as the government has issued an evacuation order of all premises in the northeast and northwest of St. Vincent.

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