A series of volcanic eruptions has blanketed parts of the Caribbean island of St Vincent in ash and smoke.

Locals reported “extremely heavy ash fall and sulphur smells” and thousands of people were forced from their homes.

La Soufrière, which had been dormant for decades, first started showing volcanic activity in December, but that increased this week.

The first sign that an eruption was imminent came on Thursday evening, when a lava dome became visible on La Soufrière.

Just before 09:00 on Friday (13:00 GMT), seismologists from the University of the West Indies confirmed that an “explosive eruption” was under way.

Evacuees were taken to cruise ships and safer parts of the island.

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