Extremely heavy ashfall rained down on parts of the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent on Saturday and a strong sulfur smell enveloped communities a day after a powerful explosion at La Soufriere volcano uprooted the lives of thousands of people who evacuated their homes under government orders.

Caribbean nations including Antigua and Guyana have offered help by either shipping emergency supplies or temporarily opening their borders to the roughly 16,000 evacuees fleeing ash-covered communities with as many personal belongings as they could stuff into suitcases and backpacks.

The volcano, which last had a sizable eruption in 1979, kept rumbling and experts warned that explosions could continue for days or weeks. A previous eruption in 1902 killed some 1,600 people.

Recommended for you