The La Soufrière volcano on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent began a series of eruptions on April 9, sending clouds of ash 20,000 feet into the air, blanketing much of the island in ash and causing water and electricity outages.
Global Relationships have received this update from Bishop, The Rev'd Everald L. Galbraith President of Conference of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA)
"Things in St. Vincent are very fluid and getting worse. The rest of this is a quote from one of the two circuit Superintendents on the island.
The eruption, which surpassed the expectation of most if not all, particularly those who experienced our last major eruption in 1979 has already caused significant dislocation and hardship. Currently, there are approximately 3700 persons in shelters. NEMO (National Emergency Management Organization) reports about 86 shelters however it seems likely that that number will increase as others are discovered in facilities that were not previously earmarked as a shelter. There are thousands others in the homes of their friends and families and others who have rented spaces. The immediate needs relate to helping persons in shelters and enabling a more conducive arrangement. While there are some shelters that have benefited from tremendous support and assistance from the community, supplementing NEMO, there are others that have apparently been under the radar. Our church; has three facilities that are currently being used as shelters, has asked several of our congregations to adopt a shelter and has been assisting in providing food, toiletries, mattresses and several other needs. Most of the shelters are occupied by people from the same village and families all from various churches. The vast majority of our members are in homes of their families and friends.
We continue our efforts at investigating and responding to the needs of the shelters as a first priority but are also aware that a next important step will be to reach persons who are using a home as a shelter then those with friends and families whose resources are either limited or depleted. The longer term response will involved enabling persons to return to their home and restoring livelihoods. "
Please continue to hold the people of St Vincent in your prayers. In particular, we pray for the work of the different government agencies, churches and the MCCA as they seek to support communities with relief supplies and stay responsive to the changing situation.
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