La Soufrière, the largest volcano and the highest peak on the island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean, erupted last Friday, April 9, for the first time in more than four decades. The eruption generated an impressive cloud of ash that covered nearby communities and left the main island’s entire population without clean water and electricity. More than 16,000 people living close to the volcano were forced to evacuate the area. After the first eruption, the volcano has remained active, and there was another blast this week, considered more substantial than the first one.
St. Vincent is the home island of Ricky Deane, Envoy Vice President of our Chicago Hub. “My home island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean is experiencing a lot of struggles as a result of recent volcanic eruptions. The airport is closed, stores are running out of supplies, and most of the island is without running water. You can tell this is not going well,” said Ricky about the current situation. Access to the island is limited, and several humanitarian organizations and other countries have mobilized to the neighboring island of Barbados to supply water, food, and sanitation products to St. Vincent.
For his upcoming birthday, Ricky plans to run the Maui Marathon on April 25. He decided to continue his participation but now with a different purpose. He wants to use it as a platform to raise funds to support the people who desperately need it.
If you would like to help Ricky on his journey to support his home island, reach out to Ricky.Deane@aa.com. There are also organizations like UNICEF providing relief efforts and has sent supplies including water tanks and sanitation products, among other basic items.