Caribbean Volcano Erupts, Thousands Evacuated

The New York Times reports:

A volcano in the southern Caribbean that had been dormant for decades erupted on Friday, spewing clouds of ash and smoke miles into the sky.  The volcano, known as La Soufrière, on the northern tip of the main island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which began showing signs of renewed activity in late December, moved into an “explosive state” in the morning, the National Emergency Management Organization said in a Twitter posting.

NBC News reports:

Empty cruise ships were scheduled to arrive Friday at the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent to help transport thousands of people who evacuated their homes under the fiery glow of La Soufrière volcano which officials said could erupt at any moment.

Shelters filled up overnight as people living in the northern part of the island sought safer ground under government orders. Roughly 16,000 people live in the red zone and required evacuation.

St. Vincent gained independence from Britain in 1979 after first being colonized by the French.