Flooding and mudslides add to St. Vincent's volcano woes

Flooding and mudslides add to St. Vincent's volcano woes
A damaged bridge stands after heavy rains poured down causing flooding and mudslides that damaged some homes and further battered areas already burdened by heavy ashfall from eruptions of La Soufriere volcano, in Kingstown, on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, Thursday, April 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Orvil Samuel)

Heavy rains poured down on the island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Thursday, causing flooding and mudslides that damaged some homes and further battered areas already burdened by heavy ashfall from eruptions of La Soufriere volcano.

Authorities said there were no reports of deaths or injuries as the storm deluged the Caribbean nation for hours, with some areas receiving from 3 inches (7.5 centimeters) to 5 inches (12.5 centimeters) of rain. Forecasters warned that an additional 2 inches (5 centimeters) were possible over the next 24 hours.

There were reports of caved-in roofs and some structures wrecked by landslides and flooding in , and authorities said bridges also sustained damage. Problems in Kingstown, the capital, were confined to .

"I drove my vehicle into Kingstown this morning. However, if the flood doesn't clear, I may have to leave it in the city," said Darren Williams, a salesman.

The troubles follow a series of eruptions at La Soufriere that began April 9 and blanketed parts of St. Vincent island with heavy ash that has damaged buildings and ruined farm fields. Over 20,000 people have had to leave their homes and the water supply and electricity were disrupted.

Roderick Stewart, a seismologist at the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center, said on the state radio station that monitoring equipment had registered indications of lahars, dangerous slides of fast-moving turned into slurry by the rainstorm.

  • Flooding and mudslides add to St. Vincent's volcano woes
    A couch that was washed out of home sits on a hill after heavy rains poured down causing flooding and mudslides that damaged some homes and further battered areas already burdened by heavy ashfall from eruptions of La Soufriere volcano, in Kingstown, on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, Thursday, April 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Orvil Samuel)
  • Flooding and mudslides add to St. Vincent's volcano woes
    The wreck of a home damaged by a mudslide sits on a hillside after heavy rains poured down causing flooding and mudslides that damaged some homes and further battered areas already burdened by heavy ashfall from eruptions of La Soufriere volcano, in Kingstown, on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, Thursday, April 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Orvil Samuel)
  • Flooding and mudslides add to St. Vincent's volcano woes
    A home damaged by a mudslide sits on a hillside after heavy rains poured down causing flooding and mudslides that damaged some homes and further battered areas already burdened by heavy ashfall from eruptions of La Soufriere volcano, in Kingstown, on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, Thursday, April 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Orvil Samuel)
  • Flooding and mudslides add to St. Vincent's volcano woes
    A damaged bridge stands after heavy rains poured down causing flooding and mudslides that damaged some homes and further battered areas already burdened by heavy ashfall from eruptions of La Soufriere volcano, in Kingstown, on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, Thursday, April 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Orvil Samuel)
  • Flooding and mudslides add to St. Vincent's volcano woes
    Locals clean out the entrance of a building after heavy rains poured down causing flooding and mudslides that damaged some homes and further battered areas already burdened by heavy ashfall from eruptions of La Soufriere volcano, in Kingstown, on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, Thursday, April 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Orvil Samuel)
  • Flooding and mudslides add to St. Vincent's volcano woes
    Water flows over the roof of a home after heavy rains poured down causing flooding and mudslides that damaged some homes and further battered areas already burdened by heavy ashfall from eruptions of La Soufriere volcano, in Kingstown, on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, Thursday, April 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Orvil Samuel)

"Our seismometers have been picking up signals from lahars in several locations, so we suspect there are lahars in all the major drainages and it may have caused quite a lot of damage as it passed down from the volcano into the sea," Stewart said.

He said the volcano itself had been relatively quiet recently.

"It does seem to be going back—I won't say to sleep, cause that's a bit hopeful—but it does seem to be quieting down," Stewart said.


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