THREE RESIDENTS of Fitz Hughes saying that they don’t have any plans to move. Sitting on the chair is Kenneth Browne, Front in blue is Fitzmore Patterson and in the back sitting on the wall is Vernon Bristol
April 20, 2021
Fitz Hughes residents don’t plan on leaving

FROM THE rough estimation of three villagers who remain in Fitz Hughes one of the areas close to the volcano; around 20 adults remain in the village.

Among these, there are more men than women, and no children are said to remain.

VEGETATION NEAR the volcano destroyed by ash

Fitz Hughes is just within the orange volcano hazard zone, and most people have evacuated the village, which is now ankle deep in ash.

The evacuees include the families of 43-yearold Fitzmore Patterson, 58-year-old Kenneth Browne, and 59-yearold Vernon Bristol. The three decided to stay put, Patterson said, “because after the Soufrière we was here, we did not run to nowhere. Three of us we did not run to go nowhere until everything is finished.”

They also expressed that they didn’t want to leave their homes, and that they wanted to experience the eruption.

Bristol said his family isn’t worried about the danger he is in, but Patterson replied, “Sure, sure”, but added that “if it get worse say we can evacuate and go by them.”

The men gathered on the porch of one of their houses on Sunday, April 18, surveying the mountainside. Behind them, in a living room, a television flashed.

This is one thing that they do have; electricity. The street lights are apparently on “24/7”.

When asked about water, Patterson told SEARCHLIGHT, “no that’s the most important thing, we don’t have.”

Bristol said sometimes he goes by the police station, and there is water in a black tank”; If he runs out “you could go by the river around there”.

Regarding food “we don’t have no quantity, we just ha small bit still.

Y’ovas, nah load of food we got”, they reveal.

Additionally, Patterson acknowledged that with the ash, “It’s kinda little bit dangerous because when the [wind] blow and it comes in the lungs. However, Bristol said every day they,“call it good still, as a struggle.”

He farms by the Wallibou valley, and went up there to untie two of his sheep. Wallibou valley is one of the areas where pyroclastic flows have come down during this eruption. These flows are the most dangerous of the hazards associated with the volcano, and anyone in the wrong place at the wrong time will almost certainly not live to tell the tale.

“…The place real terrible, all the tree break down with ash and all kinda ting. You hah to go under tree and travel, real ash dey ah fling pon you,” Bristol recalled about his journey.

“…When I reach Wallibou river, the whole place lava run down, and tough like ah concrete, yeah and place hot. I still pass and go over but when I come back now I walk above and come down,” he said.

“…just flat off the whole river come down.

Yeah a vehicle could run up there like road, me telling you.”

The scariest night for Athose who stayed, was the night after the volcano first began erupting. Browne said it went throughout the night, “keep a lot ah noise.

“In the day now e start to turn the day back to night cyah when the smoke over, in here come dark, you cyah see. When e wear off now, you ah see the sun shine out,” Bristol calmly summarized.

This eruption “throw off more ashes and so on, but 79’ it only been throw couple of ashes but it not been do no damage to the tree and dem and so,” Bristol pointed out. They alll experiened the 1979 eruption and were evacuated.

Bristol said that morning they had heard “a little grumbling” but not much.

Some minutes after this discussion, there was another explosive eruption at La Soufrière, 52 hours after an explosive event on the morning of Friday, April 16. That recent explosion carried the number of explosive events to at least 30.