St. Vincent Volcano: Only Covid-19 Vaccinated People Allowed to Evacuate the Island, Says PM

The Caribbean island of St. Vincent is covered in dark plumes of thick ash, as La Soufriere volcano erupted spewing steam and smoke billowing in to the skies, causing panic and forcing thousands of people to evacuate their homes for safety.

The thick dust covered 110 miles to the East, beginning to impact the neighbouring island of Barbados and the stench of sulphur in the atmosphere is making it harder for people to breathe normally. The island nation is home to around 100,000 people.

St Vincent Volcano Eruption
Instagram grab / Nikononimous via Saint Vincent and The Grenadines

While panic-stricken people of St. Vincent are planning to make their way out of the island, the country's Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves announced in a press conference that only people who have been vaccinated for Covid-19 would be allowed to leave the country.

However, the decision does not appear to be taken by him, but was made by the neighboring island nations of Barbados, Grenada, Antigua and St. Lucia, who agreed to accept only fully vaccinated people in to their island in fear of the virus spreading to their people.

PM Ralph Gonsalves was visibly in tears during the press conference as he explained that cruise ships which volunteered to transport people to neighbouring islands were allowing only vaccinated people onboard and the others were sent back.

''The chief medical officer would be identifying the persons already vaccinated so that we can get them on the ship,'' he said to reporters in a tearful voice and explained the cruise ships ''don't have enough personnel'' to manage the people on the ship but can only transport them.

St. Vincent Experienced Two Days of Darkness

As the volcano erupted on Friday, St. Vincent saw complete darkness for two days as the thick smoke plunged not only the island but neighbouring islands too turning the area in to darkness, as the ash blotted out the sun rays from morning to evening, revealed a reporter from Reuters who witnessed the eruption.

Even smaller eruptions have been reported from the volcano and experts suggest volcanic activities would continue for many more months and the government needs to take additional precautionary measures to handle the situation.