Press conference hosted by the Minister of Home Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams re: the eruption of La Soufriere volcano in St. Vincent – April 9, 2021. (PMO)

As the La Soufriere volcano in St. Vincent and the Grenadines continues to have explosive eruptions, Government is assuring Barbadians that they will be kept informed of any developments and actions they need to take.

But, Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams, said today, it will do so through the official channels of the Barbados Government Information Service, the Public Affairs Unit and the Prime Minister’s Office. Those three departments, he said, would then relate to the traditional media houses.

He made these comments while speaking during a hastily called press conference this afternoon to allay fears of residents following the first eruption of the volcano around 8:41 a.m.

“Here at home in Barbados, we are aware that the disaster in St. Vincent is going to have some implications for us…. As things develop, this is still early stages yet, but there are some critical messages that need to be got across. What I will also ask is that persons monitor the official channels for information,” he urged.

He explained that there was already a lot of information on social media with people expressing fear about the dust plume that was likely to cover Barbados.

But, he said, while this was possible, it was not the immediate situation. “We will notify you….  We are going to see it coming. The radars are going to pick it up and we will give people advance notice. We are here to answer the questions that people have, so they don’t have to resort to sensational self-made media persons,” the Minister assured.

He noted that it was the early stage of the situation, and there were some critical messages that needed to be delivered.     

These, he said, included residents protecting their health, and securing their animals and property, as well as how Barbados would be impacted by the falling ash.

These areas were addressed by Acting Director of the Barbados Meteorological Service, Sabu Best; Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kenneth George; Senior Veterinary Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Mark Trotman; Director of the Environmental Protection Department, Anthony Headley, who participated in the press conference.

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