• Crisis Severity ?
    1.5
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    1.5
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    1.6
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    1.4
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    1.0
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 111,000 Total population [?]
  • 37,000 People exposed [?]
  • 20,000 People affected [?]
  • 13,000 People displaced [?]

Overview

28/04/2021

La Soufrière volcano – located in the north of St. Vincent and the Grenadines – has been active since 29 December 2020. After months of heightened activity, La Soufrière erupted on 9 April, expelling clouds of ash and pyroclastic flows that affected the whole country. The volcano has erupted several times since then, with the most recent explosive eruption occurring on 22 April. According to experts, the volcano is likely to erupt for days, weeks, and possibly months.? 

Nearly 20,000 people (18% of the country’s population) have been directly affected by the eruptions. As at 25 April, 13,300 people were displaced. Nearly 6,600 are being housed in 85 public shelters, while more than 6,700 people are staying with family or friends or in private shelters. As La Soufrière volcano remains highly active, these numbers may increase in the coming weeks. ?

Ash and lava flows have caused extensive damage to critical infrastructure, particularly to roads in the north of the country, hampering the movement of people and goods. For several days after the first eruption, the entire population of the main island – St. Vincent – remained without access to clean water and electricity. Airports and ports are closed and access to the main island is very limited. ?

The communities living in the areas closest to the volcano – which are currently evacuated – are among the poorest and most vulnerable in the country. They are heavily dependent on agriculture and fisheries, which were almost completely destroyed by the eruptions. In the north of the main island, more than 90% of agricultural produce was lost, which could increase food insecurity. With fisheries and crops almost completely destroyed, the island will have to rely heavily on imports. The eruptions have impacted the country’s economy, which was already affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and which has the third-highest public debt in the Caribbean region. Initial reports suggest that 50% of St. Vincent’s GDP could be lost because of the eruptions. ?

If the eruptions continue into the upcoming hurricane season, needs could be aggravated and additional response will be required. ?

 

Latest Developments

28/04/2021

After months of heightened activity, La Soufrière volcano, on the island of St. Vincent, erupted on 9 April, affecting the whole country. The volcano has erupted several times since and activity is likely to continue for months. Nearly 20,000 people (18% of the country’s population) have been directly affected. As at 25 April, 13,300 people have been evacuated. Nearly 6,600 are staying in 85 public shelters, while more than 6,700 people are sheltering with family or friends or in private shelters. Ash and lava caused extensive damage to the water supply of St Vincent. Access to potable water remains one of the most urgent needs with shortages reported in healthcare facilities and shelters. The eruptions damaged 90% of crops in the north of the country, affecting the livelihoods of communities in the area.?

KEY PRIORITIES

30/04/2021

WASH: Water and sanitation are considered immediate needs as St. Vincent’s public water supply has been affected by the eruptions. Access to potable water remains one of the most urgent needs. Limited access to water supplies is still reported in some healthcare facilities and shelters. Given the ash fall, the need to test water sources is a priority.?

Health: Before the eruption, the country was still recovering from both a recent surge in COVID19 cases and the country’s worst dengue outbreak in recent history. There is a heightened risk of COVID-19 transmissions because of the lack of sanitation and isolation spaces in shelters. COVID19 cases have already been detected among displaced populations. There is a risk of an increase in illnesses related to respiratory symptoms, especially in children. ?