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Abrahams seeks to calm fears after volcano eruption


Abrahams seeks to calm fears after volcano eruption
Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams. (GP)

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Barbadians have been told not to panic with the eruption of La Soufriere volcano in neighbouring St Vincent and the Grenadines.

In a hastily-called news conference hours after the first explosive eruption today, Barbados’ Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams sought to allay the fears widely expressed by Barbadians, about the implications for this island.

Abrahams said La Soufriere’s 8:41 a.m. “explosive eruption” had created “an emergency situation” which up to the time of the press conference had resulted in about 2 000 people being accommodated in over 20 shelters. In addition, he said about 20 000 people were still in the orange and red zones  waiting to be evacuated. Others had already been evacuated to at least one cruise ship that had gone to the rescue of Vincentians.

“The disaster is going to have some implications for Barbados and we have been inundated with questions from the public that require answers so that people’s minds can be put at ease and so that people can take the necessary steps to properly secure their animals and have questions answered” the Home Affairs Minister explained..

He advised Barbadians to monitor “official reliable channels” such as the Government Information Service for credible and up-to-date information, while expressing sympathy to the Government and people of St Vincent and the Grenadines on behalf of the Government and people of Barbados, and pledging Barbados’ support.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley had also offered support to St Vincent and the Grenadines during a national broadcast Thursday night,.

Also updating Barbadians at the press conference were director of Barbados’ Meteorological Services Sabu Best; Chief Medical officer Dr Kenneth George; Senior veterinary officer with the Ministry of Agriculture Dr Mark Trotman and director of the Environmental Protection Department Mark Headley.

A second eruption was recorded by the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre at 2:45 p.m. today. (GC)