Red Zone rescue attempts today – NEMO

By Demion McTair. Updated 11:38 a.m., Monday, April 12, 2021, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

People being transported from Owia in the Red Zone to safety by St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard. Photo: NEMO.

Kingstown, St. Vincent: Rescue attempts will happen today to evacuate people still in the Red Zone, the National Emergency Management Organization says.

People are believed to be in the Red Zone which was ordered evacuated since April 8.

The majority of people left but some people decided to stay.

It is not clear how many people are still in the communities in the north east and north western flanks of the volcano, tagged as Red Zone communities.

On Monday, the Coast Guard successfully evacuated people who were still in the northeast community of Owia but it is reported some some people refused to leave.

Evacuation by land is challenging due to thick ashfall on the roads. The the only protected area for evacuation by sea is the Owia Fisheries Complex. The strong Atlantic Ocean waves and poor visibility due to ashfall can stymie sea evacuation.

One News SVG’s Demion McTair travelled to the Red Zone on April 10, a day after explosive eruptions began at the La Soufriere volcano and met people walking miles to safety.

Some of these people said they were securing their livestock, others were worried about theft and other illegal activities happening to their property, some felt they had nowhere to go, and others were worried about having to take a Covid-19 vaccine to enter a shelter.

The roofs of some buildings in the Red Zone have fallen in due to heavy ashfall.

Authorities have been pleading with people to leave the Red Zone which comprises of communities on the flanks of the volcano.

On Sunday, the lead scientist monitoring the La Soufriere volcano, Professor Richard Robertson said the Red Zone is “a crazy place” to be and people there should get out as soon as possible.

On Monday, pyroclastic flows were recorded, NEMO confirmed.

Scientists say more of these flows can be produced and can affect northern communities on the volcano depending on where collapses in the ash plume take place.

Professor Richard Robertson explains the potential impact of pyroclastic flows.

To date, some 3,700 people are in a total of 78 shelters across the country.

Scientists say more explosions and ash venting are expected to be produced as explosive eruptive activities continue at the volcano.

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