The Caribbean island is blanketed with volcanic ash from La Sophia, polluting crops and polluting the water supply.
Officials in the Caribbean island of St. Vincent have warned that residents are facing water shortages as the ash from La Sauferia volcano contaminates local supplies.
The volcano erupted again around 10 a.m. local time on Tuesday (August 10:00 GMT) – the fifth day of the eruption – and was blowing in gray air, as well as ash and other volcanic elements flowing beneath it.
Between 1,000,000 and 20,000 people have been evacuated from areas close to the volcano, with about 3,000 living in more than 60 government-run shelters.
Central water and sewage authorities have not been able to collect any water from the water source since the eruption, government spokesman Sehan Marshall said, adding that the water flow has been reduced by more than half a century.
On Tuesday, dozens of people lined up to receive water sent by friends and family abroad or to stand in line.
“There is no water, a lot of dust in our house. We are alive, thank God, but we need more help right now, ”Paul Smart, a retired police officer standing in a crowd, told the Associated Press.
The island is littered with volcanic ash, which has destroyed crops and contaminated water supplies.
“We are still looking for water and food,” Janita Young Mason, 43, who fled her home in the high-risk area, told Reuters news agency.
During a news conference on the local station NBC Radio, Prime Minister Ralph Gonzalez said it would take several million dollars to rescue St. Vincent from the eruption, but gave no further details.
He added that no casualties have been reported so far. “We have to try and keep that record,” he said.
Gonsalves called on residents unwilling to evacuate their homes as soon as possible in the vicinity of the incoming volcano.
La Sophia last erupted in 1979, the previous 1902 eruption, killing about 1,600 people.
On Monday, a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the entire population on the main island was without electricity or clean drinking water.
Stephen Dujarric said about 20,000 people were in need of shelter, according to a report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
“The eruption has damaged most of the livelihoods in the northern part of the island, including banana cultivation, and the flow of ash and lava has hampered the movement of people and goods,” Dujarric said in a briefing.