As I write this on April 13, conditions outside are like the Sahara desert. Any car driving by creates huge clouds, and we’ve had more than a few “dust storms.”
Only this isn’t dust….it’s volcanic ash
Since January, the La Soufrière volcano has been showing signs of increased activity. This led the government to encourage individuals on both extreme ends of the island to prepare for evacuation.
Things calmed down in February and people began to relax. But in recent weeks there was talked to increased danger at the volcano. Again individuals in danger zones were encouraged to prepare themselves.
Last Thursday morning the threat level of the volcano itself was raised, and those in dangerous areas were encouraged to prepare for evacuation. This was followed by an order to evacuate on Thursday afternoon around 4:00.
I had talked to Vincentian friends leading up this this evacuation about how to prepare (my area didn’t need to evacuate). Most told me just to have some food and water set aside, and in a few days things would be okay. This belief was based on the last eruption of the volcano in 1979 that brought a small amount of ashes.
when the first eruption hit around 9:00 Friday morning many people (myself included) stopped to take photos of the large mushroom cloud. Saturday morning I opened the door to see everything covered by ash, which looked surprisingly like snowfall.
I spent much of Sunday cleaning the church and my yard of ashes. And then yesterday morning things were somewhat back to normal with people out in the road doing their business.
Then came the two eruptions this morning
Thankfully we are safe with water that was turned on this morning, and electricity. However, in talking with many Vincentians, I have heard the same phrase.
“This is much worse than 1979”
And if you listen closely enough, you’ll hear another statement
We weren’t ready
many people expecting things to be just like they were in 79, did not take the threat seriously enough. Honestly I wasn’t prepared for the amount of ash experienced, and how many days we were going to be without water. Friday I spent much of the day using water for cleaning and other purposes, expecting it to come back on Sunday instead of Tuesday.
The Lord reminded me through this how many times we as individuals don’t take the warnings of God seriously. The Lord warns us about our sinful actions, but we put off repentance, believing the Lord will continue to care for us. Thankfully He often does show mercy, but in Love, the Lord sometimes shows us we should have listened to the warning.
I’m thankful for this experience because it brings some excitement to my life. But more importantly, its an important reminder to listen to Gods patient warnings.