Eruption in St. Vincent
April 9, 2021, a date that will forever be etched not only in the history of St. Vincent, but in the history of the Caribbean.
The volcano of La Soufrière erupted on this date, the previous one dates back to 1979.
A portion of the population of the north of the island, nearly 17,000 people, had to be evacuated (red zone).
Since November 2020, a lava dome has formed, it had already alerted volcanologists who were paying particular attention to its evolution, which allowed an evacuation in time of the population.
Since April 9 and up to 5 days after the first eruption the volcano continues to express itself, causing new eruptions that continue to emit ash and gas into the air thus forming a volcanic plume.
Some images of the eruption
An outpouring of solidarity
Many countries have responded to calls for help, some will say that there are countries that have been more responsive than others, others will say that we should not rush to provide solutions that would not be relevant to real needs.
The important thing to remember is that in the end there is a great outpouring of solidarity that has been put in place, both at the level of the governmental bodies and the Caribbean themselves.
The expressions WE ARE ONE – WE ARE ONE CARIBBEAN make perfect sense.
This experience shows us that we can stand together, unite for good deeds and for the same goals.
Jean-Yves Bonnaire, a Martinican, a Caribbean, shares with us his expertise on the post-disaster natural disaster.
Jean-Yves Bonnaire shares his expertise
Co-founder and President Obsidian Solution SAS
Director of Carib Sand – Stone Ltd
As in the Montserratian crisis of 1995 and especially that of 1997, the victims want above all to stay at home despite the difficult living conditions.
In a volcanic crisis, and with the great difference with a cyclonic crisis, dwellings outside the red zone are generally intact.
In Montserrat, a much smaller island in area, it was unfortunately the most populated area, notably the capital Plymouth, that had been affected.
In Saint-Vincent, life will be able to resume a near-normal course on more than two thirds of the island’s surface area… as the ash falls subside.
Let us therefore listen to the needs of the affected populations and the authorities of St. Vincent and stop wanting to decide for them, by also criticizing our own decision-makers.
Humility is an essential quality in the humanitarian response to these human tragedies.
The natural disaster crisis management ecosystem.
The “local” policy that holds jurisdiction is always the ultimate decision maker.
– scientific advice that provides the scientific data useful to the decision but does not decide anything. It is better, however, for scientists to agree with each other to avoid the scenario of the 1976 volcanic crisis in Guadeloupe,
– local administrative staff under the control of politics that take charge of the operational aspects of crisis management.
Part of this crisis management can be conceded:
– foreign military or civil security personnel under cooperation agreements. These actors intervene only with the agreement of the local authorities and at their request.
– to recognised NGOs
The world of crisis management naturally includes the affected populations (the politics and administrative of the country or the affected area are also disaster victims).
The ability of local forces to react is very important and often depends on the level of culture of the risk of citizens acquired before the crisis because we do not improvise with the natural disaster.
The press can be useful, but it sometimes complicates crisis management by mediating certain dysfunctions.
The citizens of the world can be valuable as long as they remain channeled.
Another anonymous “actor” has become a prominent part of crisis management, social media.
The spectacular character of natural disaster makes them very sensitive to fake news and other comments that are either of little use or that do not necessarily shed light on the understanding of the crisis for those who want to act or learn from it for themselves.
Centralizing actions seems to be the watchword.
SOME EXAMPLES OF ACTIONS
“STRONGER TOGETHER CAMPAIGN”
It is an incentive for OECS states to raise funds.
You can fill out this form: https://bit.ly/3mM7hDq
COORDINATION GROUP – Volcanic eruption in St. Vincent
The prefect of Martinique invites anyone wishing to make a donation to address their requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sending this Tuesday 14/04 45 tons of material (food, water, material of basic necessities).
Monsterrat government to provide 150,000 XCDs and donate essential supplies
The Government of Dominica will welcome 300 people from Saint Vincent & The Grenadines
Guadeloupe is also active thanks to various partners (la Croix-rouge) to carry out actions in coordination with the French authorities.
To name but a few, not to mention the actions that CARICOM coordinates.
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