Tampa Bay Times

Volcanic eruptions force evacuation­s


Conditions worsened on Sunday at a volcano on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent as loud rumbling, lightning and heavy ashfall were observed and residents reported power cuts. The eruption Friday of La Soufrière forced many residents to evacuate their homes, though some remained in place. The rumbling was heard in the capital of Kingstown, about 20 miles south. Lava has begun to flow from the volcano, said Prof. Richard Robertson, the lead scientist at the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center. Elford Lewis, a 56-year-old farmer who evacuated his home on Sunday morning, said the ongoing eruption is worse than the last big one in 1979. “This one is more serious,’’ said Lewis, who witnessed the big eruption decades ago. An eruption of the 4,003-foot volcano in 1902 killed roughly 1,600 people. About 16,000 people have fled the current eruption.

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