Submitted by Nathan’ Jolly’ Green
The volcano is going off! what volcano is going off? They are all going off!
The volcano is going off, what volcano is going off? They are all going off. What do you mean they are all going off? When that last happened in 1816, it created the Year Without Summer and almost brought the end to all humanity.
Vincentians know what is happening in their back yard, and often in their neighbours. But currently, Saint Vincent is in such turmoil with people running frightened from the COVID 19 virus; few look over the neighbours’ fence anymore in fear of catching the COVID. Vincentians know that La Soufrière is erupting, but all the others in the world who cares.
Around the world currently, most of the volcanos are in some state of eruption. They are all smoking, rumbling, or fully erupting. We lack the final piece in the 1816 year without summer equation, Indonesia’s Mount Tambora erupting explosively.
In April of 1815, Mount Tambora exploded in a powerful eruption that killed tens of thousands of people on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa. The following Year 1816 became known as the “year without a summer” when icy, wet conditions swept across Europe and North America in August.
The Year 1816 is known as the Year Without a Summer (also the Poverty Year and Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death) because of severe climate abnormalities that caused average global temperatures to decrease by 0.4–0.7 °C (0.7–1 °F). Summer temperatures in Europe were the coldest on record between the years of 1766–2000. This resulted in significant food shortages across the Northern Hemisphere.
Evidence suggests that the anomaly was predominantly a volcanic winter event caused by the massive 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in April in the Dutch East Indies (known today as Indonesia). This eruption was the largest in at least 1,300 years (after the hypothesized eruption causing the extreme weather events of 535–536), and perhaps exacerbated by the 1814 eruption of Mayon in the Philippines.
With most of the Worlds volcanos making activity from 1800 causing cumulative upper atmosphere contamination, that in 1815/1816 the upper atmosphere was densely contaminated with ash and debris which blocked out the sun. Everything needs the sun to grow, needs the sun to live. But 1816 saw a year of little sun and a year-long winter. In August in New York, Frost and snow and freezing fogs, people starved around the world as crops failed, no wheat, and bread riots in Switzerland. People in the East Coast US marched across the country having heard it was a little warmer on the West Coast. Domestic farm animals were dying no food, no grains, no vegetables. Wild animals and birds stopped breeding, stopped replacing those that were dying by the millions. Had the intense volcanic activity continued for another two or three years and continued to exclude the sun. It would have most certainly been the end of humanity.
But back to the matter in hand, you can stop looking over the neighbour’s fence. Let us look again at the current evolving eruption of Saint Vincent’s Mount Soufrière. What is the worst that can happen?
Massive eruptions bring massive lightning storms, a deposit of ash that blocks rivers and closes off roads. Bridges fail due to the rivers’ blockage. The rivers in Saint Vincent are traditionally poorly maintained almost always containing lots of dead trees and debris, mix that with volcanic ash, and pop goes the bridges. Landslides block roads; roads collapse; people are stranded, no escape. Do we have to wait for all that before we attempt to evacuate our people from a situation that would prove impossible and the people may perish?
So why not rescue the people in case a tragedy unwraps, how about evacuation just in case? How about evacuation as a precaution? How about evacuation right now?
One of the most significant strains on the Vincentians’ minds living in the red and yellow zone is not knowing if or when not knowing the evacuation plan. Not knowing the meeting points, what they should bring and how to get there. No trial run of evacuation, no test run, no information, can you imagine how that plays on these people’s minds.
For the government to wait until something happens before they move into action, really may be just too late. Tell the people the whole plan, tell them now, they are not children, tell them, comrade. Give every one of them written instructions.