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St. Vincent's La Soufrière explodes again on 42nd anniversary of last major eruption

The La Soufrière volcano crater in St. Vincent. Photo by Dave Brown on Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

At about 6:30 am (GMT-4) on April 13, La Soufrière, a stratovolcano in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, exploded once again after its most recent series of eruptions began on April 9.

While the volcano's activity has remained consistent over the past four days, both official sources and regular netizens have taken note of this most recent explosion on the island of St. Vincent, since the date marks the 42nd anniversary of La Soufrière's last major eruption in 1979:

One tweet, which showcased the eruption from the vantage point of neighbouring St. Lucia, shows just how close the islands in the Caribbean archipelago are, though the hope is that the ash from this most recent eruption will stay within St. Vincent's designated Red Zone, rather than make landfall in other regional territories:

Other countries, including Barbados and Grenada, have been dealing with the fallout from the volcano's ash, which brought with it adverse effects to health:

Reports out of Antigua and Barbuda, however, warn that the country's air quality could “drastically diminish” should the volcanic ash from La Soufrière reach its shores. The presence of sulphur dioxide, the colourless but highly pungent gas that volcanos release when magma is close to the surface, is also expected.

On Facebook, the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre made the point that when it comes to collecting data on ashfall in order to understand this eruption, “it's all about measurements and scale.” The page also shared a photo of coconut trees drooping under the weight of the ash, noting that “the impact on vegetation is devastating in the short term but beneficial in the long term,” since the ash is mineral-rich.

As St. Vincent's landscape continues to look more and more desolate, concerns abound for the well-being of residents who have refused to leave their homes in the “Red Zone,” as well as for that of birds and other wildlife:

Despite the challenges, however, La Soufrière's eruption has united the region and brought out the best in communities. One resident of Kingstown, Michelle Gormandy-Haddaway, explained that Vincentians “will help out others with what little they have”—a sentiment that was confirmed by this tweet from volcanologist Professor Richard Robertson:

Or, put another way by Vincentian Twitter user Heidi Badenock:

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