U.N. appeals for help after volcano erupts in St. Vincent

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Ash covers roads a day after the La Soufriere volcano erupted after decades of inactivity. It is about 5 miles away in Georgetown, St Vincent and Grenadines on April 10, 2021 in a video image.

Robertson S. Henry is a REUTERS Robertson S. Henry The United Nations launched an appeal on Tuesday for$ 29.2 million to help some 15,000 people displaced when the La Soufriere volcano erupted earlier this month on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent.

We 're not out of the woods, St. Vincent and Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves told reporters, adding that scientists had warned eruptions could last another six months.

The volcano erupted on April 9 after decades of inactivity, spewing dark clouds of ash some 10 km into the air and triggering the evacuation of thousands of people. The volcano has continued to rumble and vent ash; Gonsalves, the U.N. Resident Coordinator for Barbados and Eastern Caribbean, visited the affected areas two days ago and described the scene as apocalyptic.

He said the U.N. appeal to scale up assistance for six months was to include him. St. Vincent and Grenadines, which has a population of just over 100,000, has not experienced volcanic activity since 1979 when an eruption resulted in approximately$ 100 million in damages.

An eruption by La Soufriere in 1902 killed more than 1,000 people. In French the name sulfur outlet means.

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