Travel Alert April 2021: Volcano Eruption Disrupts Travel in Saint Vincent

If Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados are in your travel plans over the next few days, you may want to consider delaying your travel — or, at least, keep yourself updated as to the latest information — due to the eruption of a volcano, which continued at the time this article was written.

Travel Alert April 2021: Volcano Eruption Disrupts Travel in Saint Vincent

Although the La Soufrière volcano on the island of Saint Vincent did not cause airports to close, the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre — which is the monitoring agency for earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis in the eastern Caribbean region — posted a video of the volcano erupting and reports at its official Twitter account that the “ash plume may cause flight delays due to diversions.

Ash clouds from volcanoes can clog the engines of airplanes and cause them to malfunction — or stop working altogether — and vast quantities of ash and debris were launched into the atmosphere towards the northeast at an altitude as high as six miles. Some of that debris in the air are boulders as large as cars due to the powerful thrust of the gas cloud from the volcano.

Meanwhile, at least 16,000 people were forced to evacuate from their homes, as pyroclastic flows — which are avalanches of gas and debris that are intensely hot — are reportedly traveling as fast as 120 miles per hour along the side of the mountain.

The last time this volcano was in 1979.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados are in your travel plans over the next few days, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to this volcanic activity which may affect your travel plans. Better yet, postponing or canceling your trip might be a better option — no matter which mode of travel you plan on taking.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary. If you are driving in any of the affected areas, watch out for deteriorating weather conditions and traffic problems.

The only airline which has issued a travel alert as a result of this volcanic activity at the time this article was written is:

  • American Airlines has issued travel alerts for Bridgetown in Barbados and Saint Lucia for Monday, April 12, 2021 through Tuesday, April 13, 2021; and Saturday, April 17, 2021 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin. You can change your origin city or destination city to Antigua or Grenada.

Summary

This article may be updated as additional information unfolds pertaining to this situation — especially if travel is affected — but neither Hewanorra International Airport in Saint Lucia nor Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados are closed to airplane traffic at the time this article was written.

Volcanoes can be unpredictable and another eruption could occur; so be sure to contact your airline or transportation provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — if they are adversely affected — and please: travel safely.

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

One thought on “Travel Alert April 2021: Volcano Eruption Disrupts Travel in Saint Vincent”

  1. DaninMCI says:

    I bet masks on that island are finally becoming useful. The ash is no joke. I hope the people there remain safe and that it doesn’t make too big of an impact on airline routes.

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