St. Vincent Orders Emergency Evacuation - Royal Caribbean and Carnival Sending Ships to Help

Apr 09, 2021

The Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have declared Red Alert and ordered mandatory evacuations on Thursday after La Soufriere volcano is in danger of exploding. Evacuation is underway by land and sea in preparation for an explosive eruption of the volcano.

“The volcano has entered a heightened period of activity indicative of a fresh batch of magma either ner to, or approaching the surface. The possibility for activity to move to an explosive phase has increased significantly. Given the current data it's not possible to say exactly what the time scale would be." said the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO).

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves issued an evacuation order effective immediately. Roughly 16,000 people live in the red zone area and will need to be evacuated. Safe areas are those from North Union to Kingstown, on the Windward side of the island, Barouallie to Kingstown on the Leeward side and the Grenadine Islands.

These are the latest images from UWI Seismic Research Centre.

The island’s emergency authorities said Carnival and Royal Caribbean ships are underway to evacuate those who live near La Soufrière volcano. At a news conference, Prime Minister said two Royal Caribbean cruise ships are expected to arrive by Friday and a third one in the coming days, as well as two Carnival cruise ships by Friday. People boarding these ships will be evacuated to the neighboring islands. Royal Caribbean Group is sending Serenade of the Seas and Celebrity Reflection to help evacuate people, while Carnival Cruise Line will deploy Carnival Legend and Carnival Paradise for emergency evacuation.

St. Vincent resident recorded this video of the La Soufriere volcano activity.

Royal Caribbean Group issued a statement confirming the support to St. Vincent evacuation efforts. 

“Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises are sending ships to St. Vincent in the Caribbean to evacuate residents currently at risk from a potential eruption of the island’s La Soufriere volcano which has seen increased activity in recent days. Both cruise lines are working closely with St. Vincent authorities to assist residents most at risk. Royal Caribbean International’s Serenade of the Seas and Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Reflection are on their way to the island nation and are expected to arrive later this evening to assist with evacuation efforts. All precautions will be taken to protect the health and safety of the crew and passengers who board our ships.”

Update: Serenade of the Seas has already docked in St. Vincent, ready to assist with the evacuation process.

Carnival Cruise Line also released a statement confirming the response with two ships arriving for humanitarian assistance as evacuation efforts proceed.

"Carnival Cruise Line has agreed to send two ships to St. Vincent to support humanitarian efforts to evacuate residents who are under threat from the volcanic eruption of La Soufriere.  Carnival Paradise should arrive to St. Vincent by 11 a.m. local time on Friday, and Carnival Legend should arrive by approximately 2 p.m. on Friday."

Carnival said that each ship will board up to 1,500 citizens who will be transported to the neighboring islands that have agreed to offer refuge out of harm’s way.

Our hearts and prayers go out for the nation and all who reached a helping hand in a time of need.