St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has declared a stage three disaster alert as volcanic activity at the La Soufriere volcano intensifies. Residents, especially persons living in communities close to the volcano, have been told to be prepared in the event that it becomes necessary to evacuate at short notice. Long-period earthquakes have been reported. Seismologists say this means that fresh magma is trying to reach the surface and the volcano is at an explosive stage. They say there could be an explosive eruption within hours or days. The alert level remains at orange.