Cruise Ships Save Citizens After Volcanic Eruption
Think the caption is too dramatic to be true and derives straight out of a Spielberg movie? Well, think again.
Last week, the Caribbean island of St. Vincent got threatened by an impending volcanic eruption. Three cruise lines quickly dispatched ships to the direction, aimed at evacuating citizens stranded on the island.
April 8 saw St. Vincent's Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves authorize an emergency evacuation from the northern tip of St. Vincent, which faced the highest risk of damage from the eruption.
The government of St. Vincent ordered all citizens as well as tourists to leave with immediate effect, with around 2,000 people being provided with emergency shelter. Others gathered in Kingstown on the island's downwind side for ferry transport to the nearest St. Lucia.
The cruise ships that assisted in the evacuation process were - Serenade of the Seas, Celebrity Reflection, and Carnival Legend, bearing possible evacuation requests.
However, people have to be vaccinated before they board the cruise ship, Ralph Gonsalves, the prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, said at a press conference held a day after the eruption.
He said, "The chief medical officer would be identifying the persons already vaccinated so that we can get them on the ship."
On the morning of April 9, Serenade of the Seas docked at a pier, leaving the same day for Castries, St. Lucia. We analyzed the historic AIS data of the vessel and concluded that she was the sole vessel that docked and made transit to another nearby island.
As for Celebrity Reflection and Carnival Legend, they briefly off St. Lucia on the morning of April 11. All of the three ships were waiting off St. Vincent on April 12.
Apart from cruise lines, the Venezuelan government also made sure to send assistance along the way for the island nation. According to St. Vincent Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, A Venezuelan landing craft -the ex-South Korean LST Goajira (T-63) - arrived in Kingstown on Monday. It carried "much-needed supplies and equipment, " putting in the words if Ralph.
The eruption on Friday left the island struggling with power and water cuts. The island is encircled in deep volcanic ash that is starting to harden on the ground, emergency officials on the island said in a tweet on Sunday.