The eruption column from the volcano was estimated to have reached 10 kilometres high, the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre said.
Local media have in recent days also reported increased activity from Mount Pelee on the island of Martinique, which lies to the north of St. Vincent beyond St. Lucia. The Prime Minister also expressed concerns about the days ahead, warning that it is not simply going to be like a hurricane and cautioning those who have chosen not to evacuate and remain in the red zone.
Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises are sending ships to St. Vincent in the Caribbean to evacuate residents now at risk from a potential eruption of the island's La Soufriere volcano which has seen increasing activity in recent days.
Ash fall has been recorded as far from the volcano as Argyle International Airport, St Vincent's National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) said.
He said two Royal Caribbean cruise ships and two Carnival Cruise Line ones are expected to arrive on Friday.
Gonsalves said he was talking to other Caribbean governments to accept people's ID cards if they don't have a passport.
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Mr Gonsalves added that he highly recommends those who opt to go to a shelter in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, an island chain of more than 100,000 people, be vaccinated.
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves issued an immediate evacuation order as the situation at La Soufriere volcano deteriorated further yesterday afternoon, and announced that several cruise ships would be arriving from today to help get residents out. Emergency management officials had issued a "red alert" Thursday, after scientists observed the heightened threat with magma on the move close to the surface.
"More explosions could occur", she said, adding that it was impossible to predict whether any potential upcoming explosions would be bigger or smaller than the first one.
The population on the main island of St. Vincent had been on edge for months in fear of a eruption. La Soufriere has erupted. Most notably, the eruption of 1902 killed many Indigenous Black Caribs, who had been banished by the British colonial government to live at Sandy Bay in the shadow of the volcano.
Whether hurricanes, earthquakes, or other calamities, Royal Caribbean has traditionally stepped up with humanitarian aid and assistance.