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)

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent (AP) — 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 rural areas, and authorities said bridges also sustained damage. Problems in Kingstown, the capital, were confined to high water.

“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 volcano 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 volcanic ash turned into slurry by the rainstorm.

“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.


UN Adopts Resolution of Solidarity

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Wednesday adopted a resolution in solidarity with and support for the Government and people of St Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as neighbouring countries affected by the impact of the eruptions of the La Soufriere volcano.

Guyana’s Permanent Representative to the UN and chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) caucus, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, introduced the resolution on behalf of the 14-member regional integration grouping.

The resolution received overwhelming support, with 174 of the 193 member states co-sponsoring the resolution, which was adopted by consensus.

In her statement, Ambassador Rodrigues-Birkett highlighted the “deep concern about the serious consequences of the explosive eruptions of the La Soufrière volcano …since April 9, 2021 which has resulted in the displacement of residents, loss of livelihoods, food security and nutrition, health security, and access to social infrastructure, and about the urgent need to restore normal conditions for the population.”