(Loop News) When the dust settles, La Soufriere Volcano quietens, and St Vincent and the Grenadines begins its rebuilding process, one Vincentian hopes to see infrastructural development for the homes in the north and northeastern communities.
Speaking to Loop News in the ‘ghost town’ of Caratal Village, resident Christophe indicated that most of the buildings in the villages were poorly built. Christophe maintained that after the dust has settled, the rebuilding process will be a ‘gigantic task’ that requires governmental support.
“Most of the buildings need building materials…It is a poor community and the Government have to help in order to rebuild.”
His home is one of the houses blanketed by ashfall. Thankfully, Christophe’s roof remains intact but if the explosive eruptions continue he will need to rebuild from scratch.
“There is enough ash, that if the ash continue falling so it might collapse because my home is poorly built. My home is not that strong so I am hoping with the grace and love of God that such things don’t happen,” he told Loop.
“There is nothing much I can do until things improve. The most you can do is clear the ash off your housetop and clear around your surroundings,” he further added.
The elderly man said he was hopeful that things would improve. Having witnessed the 1979 volcanic eruption, he believed that La Soufriere was currently in its waning stages.
“To my experience, I believe it is getting weaker. I think most of the strength is gone. The scientist might know better but from what I observed every time it erupts there is less debris, less ashes and so on but nobody can predict because the bottom line is, this is the work of God Almighty and we as human beings just have to wait and see and try to withstand the situation,” he held.
When questioned about why he returned to the Red Zone, Christophe said he sought to assess the damages and see what belongings he could take to the North Union shelter.
He expressed that he was horrified by Friday’s eruption. He indicated that the damages in the northeastern villages were more devastating in comparison to in 1979.
“I was around in 1979 when the first one erupt and I was out in the mountain at that time but this time I was in the village but I never left until the situation get bad. To me, this one is much, much worse, more ashes [and] more debris.”
Christophe has been staying at a shelter in North Union since the eruption occurred on April 9. He contended that more attention needs to be given to the residents at shelters. Christophe stressed that what residents needed most right now are water and food.
“I think the situation is very terrible and Government is trying its best. In terms of the shelter, I think the shelter need more attention from the governmental standpoint because the majority of shelter is the ordinary poor people and [the] people who are better off are in the private homes and I think the basic thing they need is food and water. They need better sleeping conditions like mattresses and so on.”