La Soufrière, a volcano located in the southern Caribbean, has erupted for the first time since 1979, sending ash as high as six miles into the sky as residents were scrambling to take shelter and evacuate. The volcano on the main island of St. Vincent and Grenadines first started to show an increase in activity in December, but officially moved into an “explosive state” on Friday, according to the island nation’s National Emergency Management Organization. A full evacuation of the area has begun, according to its country’s prime minister. Empty cruise ships were expected to arrive in the coming hours. The last time La Soufrière erupted, ash traveled 100 miles away, as far as Barbados. So far, residents have been able to evacuate and no fatalities are reported; in 1902, however, its eruption killed 1,700 people. The country has a population of over 110,000 spread out among its three islands, but the majority of its residents live on the same island as the volcano.
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