KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (PNN) - April 10, 2021 - St. Vincent Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves declared that only vaccinated people can be evacuated from St. Vincent and the Grenadines following the eruption of a nearby volcano.
Only vaccinated people are eligible to board cruise ships volunteering to transport people to nearby islands for refuge.
“The chief medical officer would be identifying the persons already vaccinated so that we can get them on the ship,” Gonsalves said, reiterating, “those that are vaccinated, she can get them going on the vessel.”
“Those who are not yet vaccinated but who would be vaccinated, you wouldn’t send them immediately after vaccination,” he said, because of the possible side effects like “wooziness in the head”.
La Soufriere volcano, which has been dormant for decades, erupted early Friday on the eastern side of St. Vincent, shooting ash columns six miles into the air.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines are home to about 100,000 people, and 16,000 of them are within the “red zone” of the eruption needed to be evacuated.
St. Lucia, Grenada, Barbados and Antigua all volunteered to accept refugees on the condition that they were fully vaccinated.
Several cruise lines have sent a total of five ships for the rescue mission.
Carnival Paradise and Carnival Legend have both arrived and are off the coast of St. Vincent. Two ships from Royal Caribbean brands - Serenade of the Seas and Celebrity Reflection - are en route, expected this evening. A third Royal Caribbean ship is expected to arrive in the coming days.