St Vincent rocked by explosive eruption of La Soufrière volcano | St Vincent and the Grenadines

The Caribbean island of St Vincent has been rocked by an explosive eruption of La Soufrière volcano, a day after declared a red alert and issued an evacuation order.

The country’s National Emergency Management Organisation (Nemo) confirmed on Twitter that the volcano had erupted on Friday morning and warned residents to leave the surrounding areas.

Pictures shared on social media showed towering plumes of gas and volcanic matter billowing into the sky above the volcano.

The University of West Indies Seismic research centre said the eruption took place at 8.41am.

On Thursday, prime minister, Ralph Gonsalves, issued an evacuation for the northern part of the island and Nemo warned that there was a “substantial prospect of disaster”.

La Soufriere last erupted in 1979, and a previous eruption in 1902 killed some 1,600 people. That occurred shortly before Martinique’s Mt Pelee erupted and destroyed the town of Saint-Pierre, killing more than 30,000 people.

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