Pope Francis expressed his solidarity on Friday with the thousands of people displaced by ongoing volcanic eruptions on the island of St. Vincent in the southern Caribbean.
The eruption of La Soufrière volcano displaced close to 20,000 people and left the entire main island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines with limited access to clean water, according to the United Nations.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, sent a telegram on the pope’s behalf expressing “heartfelt solidarity with the many displaced persons forced to evacuate their homes and seek shelter from the effects of this disaster.”
“Praying in a particular way for the emergency personnel and volunteers providing relief assistance, His Holiness entrusts the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the loving providence of almighty God,” the cardinal said in the telegram released April 23.
La Soufrière, which had been dormant since 1979, has erupted multiple times since April 9 destroying homes and crops and covering entire villages with ash. Scientists at the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre expect that another eruption in the coming weeks is likely.