La Soufriere volcano alert reduced to Orange


La Soufriere with Ralf Gonsalves

KINGSTOWN,  St. Vincent — The government of St Vincent has moved the alert at the La Soufriere volcano from Red, the highest, to Orange, the third-highest on the four-level scale.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said on the state-owned NBC Radio on Thursday that the Cabinet made the decision a day earlier.

The alert level was raised to Red on April 8 when the evacuation order was given, about 15 hours before La Soufriere erupted explosively.

A Red alert means that an eruption is in progress or may occur without further warning.

An Orange alert means that there is a highly elevated level of seismicity or fumarolic activity or both or other highly unusual symptoms. At this level, eruptions could occur within less than 24 hours’ notice.

Gonsalves said water and electricity services have been restored all the way to Richmond on the northwestern coast.

He also said that mudflows north of the Rabacca Dry River have made the situation there more perilous than it had been a week earlier.