A team from the seismic center arrived in St. Vincent in late December after the volcano had an effusive eruption.
President Irfaan Ali on Thursday said the Guyana government was on standby to provide relief to St. Vincent where residents in the northeastern part of the island were ordered to evacuate because a the La Soufriere volcano could explode at any time.
However, at about 3 am on Thursday, there was another significant change in seismicity, where the station closest to the volcano began recording low-level tremors, he said. At an emergency press conference, Dr. Gonsalves said the decision was based on advice from volcanologist Professor Richard Robertson who said that the situation had deteriorated significantly.
Emergency management teams have been going out to communities in the red zone and providing transportation to safer locations, including prearranged shelters, according to Joseph.
"I will be making contact with Prime Minister Gonsalves to personally convey these well wishes".
He explained that during an explosive eruption magma breaks apart, fragments it into small pieces which gets pushed into the atmosphere and is driven by the wind to wider areas than the volcano itself.
"La Soufriere last erupted in 1979 and today's heightened alert comes as a result of increased seismic and volcanic activity".
Vessels are also on their way to Chateaubelair to do a sea evacuation of people from that northwestern town to Barrouallie, Forbes said. Gonsalves said that several neighboring island nations, including Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, and St. Lucia, have offered to welcome evacuees.
Gonsalves added that he highly recommends those who opt to go to a shelter in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, an island chain of more than 100,000 people, be vaccinated.
Many anxious that evacuation efforts would be hampered by the pandemic, with Mr Gonsalves noting that the cruise ships and other islands would require evacuees to be vaccinated.
In February, St. Vincent and the Grenadines received 40,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from Indian officials. Most notably, the eruption of 1902 killed many Indigenous Black Caribs, who had been banished by the British colonial government to live at Sandy Bay in the shadow of the volcano.