The La Soufrière volcano. (UWI Seismic Research Centre/FP)

Barbados will mark its first Volcano Awareness Week from Sunday, April 3, to Saturday, April 9.

This week is being hosted by the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) to mark the April 9, 2021, anniversary of the eruption of the La Soufriere Volcano in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. That eruption caused plumes of volcanic ash to blanket the island and resulted in a national shutdown to protect citizens.

To start the week, a public service announcement (PSA) campaign will get under way on Sunday, April 3, on CBC TV8, radio stations across the country and on social media. These PSAs will comprise infographics on the volcano hazard, ash fall cleanup, and a video and audio recording from local celebrity Red Plastic Bag.

On Monday, April 4, and Friday, April 8, children will be treated to Story Time, beginning at 4:00 p.m. on the DEM’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube channels.

This activity is designed to teach children more about the volcano hazard, and will feature a local personality reading an illustrated book.

Then on Thursday, April 7, persons are invited to log on to the DEM’s Facebook page for the Real Talk In The Face Of Danger webinar from 11:00 a.m. until 12:10 p.m.  During this session, panelists will take a look at the La Soufriere volcanic eruption in 2021 and its impacts on St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados.

Panelists will come from the DEM, the Barbados Meteorological Services, the University of the West Indies, the Seismic Research Centre, and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Emergency Management Office. They will speak on their involvement with pre and post-disaster actions with respect to volcanic eruptions.

The week of activities is geared towards increasing the public’s knowledge about volcanoes and ash fall, and providing information to help people prepare for the adverse effects of such hazards. It also designed to allow for collaboration with national and regional partners and stakeholders to promote Disaster Risk Management.

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