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Montserrat’s September 17 Anniversary of Disasters

Untled-1

Cleaning up after hurricane Hugo

On Wednesday, September 11, millions of people worldwide acknowledged the first anniversary of the terror attacks on the United States of America, which left more than 2,000 people dead.

However, September 17 on Montserrat, is the anniversary of several major major disasters: the 1965 Pan-American Airways crash in Chance’s Mountain, which claimed the life of all aboard – 21 passengers and nine crew members; the 1989 devastating effects of Hurricane Hugo on the entire island; and the first terrifying explosion of the Soufriere Hills volcano in 1996.

bivd1But September is definitely not Montserrat’s favourite month as it was also in September (1981) Montserrat experienced its “worst flood in living memory”. The September 7, 1981 issue of The Montserrat Times reported: “In only a few hours last Thursday night, 12 inches of rainfall poured down on Montserrat, causing the worst flood in living memory. Two people have been reported missing and presumed dead, houses were washed away, scores of animals were carried to the sea, hundreds of thousands of tons of rock, mud and sand were thrown onto the streets, walls gave into the inundation, roads and bridges were badly damaged and utilities were disrupted….”

Montserratians will always remember the “feared” month of September.

It now seems that politicians or everyone with any Montserrat connection should beware politically during the September. MCAP won and lost an election September.

PDM won election September; elected members show dissent next, one leaves party. In September many wonder will there be another election before next September, but one doubts after this there will ever be another one in September.

However, the Emerald Isle is still standing strong and valiant in spite of the many adversities it has faced.

The following are excerpts from newspaper reports:
Pan Am Aircraft Crashes Into Mountainside
No survivors
(The Montserrat Mirror – Saturday, September 18, 1965)
Yesterday morning a Pan-American Airways Boeing 707 Jet crashed in the Chance’s Mountain area in the low-flying fog.
The plane’s final destination was New York via Collridge Airport, Antigua; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The aircraft, it is claimed, struck the southwest side of Chance’s Mountain head-on. Her last port of call was Fort-de-France, Martinique.
Civil Aviation Board officials state that there were twenty-one passengers aboard with nine crew members. All of whom are presumed to have perished in the catastrophe.

Putting it back together
(The Montserrat Reporter – Friday, October 13, 1989)

Galvanize sheet wrapped around a pole

Galvanize sheet wrapped around a pole

Montserrat continues to pull itself up from the devastating effects of Hurricane Hugo on September 17.
Most reports say Montserrat was hardest hit and estimated that as many as 98% of all homes were damaged. Many were totally destroyed….
Montserratians have been busy rebuilding their homes and helping friends and neighbours put a shelter over their heads. But thousands still remain homeless.
Some forty tons of galvanize are expected to arrive anytime now as a gift from the United States.
Government sources also say some 400 houses are being built to replace hose public-assistance houses destroyed by Hugo.
Various agencies have been set up to secure and channel funds and to assist with the smooth and speedy rebuilding of the country.
Spirits continue to remain high. And active assistance continues to come from Caribbean countries people, Britain, the United States and Canada.

  The roofless Cotton Ginnery in Plymouth after Hurricane Hugo  Volcano Fury…

tled-1

Cotton Ginery roof and building stripped

(The Montserrat Reporter – Friday, 20th September 1996)
Soufriere Hills volcano burst forth into what all residents and friends of Montserrat hope will be its last serious burst of activity since its eruptive phase began of July 18 last year. The worst that could be said is that, “if worse is yet to come, then that’s nothing to look forward to”…

On Tuesday afternoon, even with the scientists trying to calm fears, saying that the activities at Soufriere Hills had not heightened but rather is in keeping with what they had been saying is likely to happen, residents here were weary of their pronouncements but trusting nevertheless…

There is no guess that what had been occurring must have awakened sleeping residents over the entire island. The sound was such that there was not mistaking over the eventual rumblings of thunder and flashing lightning, that the volcano which by now was belching rocks, gritty sand, gravel and wet ash, was growling and wining deep down.
The results show that the mixture that had fallen was mixed with sand, ash and tiny rocks, making it compact almost like concrete. The roads were not as slippery as usual but many vehicles had lost their windscreens from falling pebbles.

Some 8 houses including the Pentecostal Church house were burnt in Long Ground all from extremely hot rocks falling on them, as well as the Tar River Estate house, which was threatened earlier from pyroclastic flows, finally succumbing as the flows moved further northward and in towards Long Ground…..

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Untled-1

Cleaning up after hurricane Hugo

On Wednesday, September 11, millions of people worldwide acknowledged the first anniversary of the terror attacks on the United States of America, which left more than 2,000 people dead.

However, September 17 on Montserrat, is the anniversary of several major major disasters: the 1965 Pan-American Airways crash in Chance’s Mountain, which claimed the life of all aboard – 21 passengers and nine crew members; the 1989 devastating effects of Hurricane Hugo on the entire island; and the first terrifying explosion of the Soufriere Hills volcano in 1996.

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bivd1But September is definitely not Montserrat’s favourite month as it was also in September (1981) Montserrat experienced its “worst flood in living memory”. The September 7, 1981 issue of The Montserrat Times reported: “In only a few hours last Thursday night, 12 inches of rainfall poured down on Montserrat, causing the worst flood in living memory. Two people have been reported missing and presumed dead, houses were washed away, scores of animals were carried to the sea, hundreds of thousands of tons of rock, mud and sand were thrown onto the streets, walls gave into the inundation, roads and bridges were badly damaged and utilities were disrupted….”

Montserratians will always remember the “feared” month of September.

It now seems that politicians or everyone with any Montserrat connection should beware politically during the September. MCAP won and lost an election September.

PDM won election September; elected members show dissent next, one leaves party. In September many wonder will there be another election before next September, but one doubts after this there will ever be another one in September.

However, the Emerald Isle is still standing strong and valiant in spite of the many adversities it has faced.

The following are excerpts from newspaper reports:
Pan Am Aircraft Crashes Into Mountainside
No survivors
(The Montserrat Mirror – Saturday, September 18, 1965)
Yesterday morning a Pan-American Airways Boeing 707 Jet crashed in the Chance’s Mountain area in the low-flying fog.
The plane’s final destination was New York via Collridge Airport, Antigua; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The aircraft, it is claimed, struck the southwest side of Chance’s Mountain head-on. Her last port of call was Fort-de-France, Martinique.
Civil Aviation Board officials state that there were twenty-one passengers aboard with nine crew members. All of whom are presumed to have perished in the catastrophe.

Putting it back together
(The Montserrat Reporter – Friday, October 13, 1989)

Galvanize sheet wrapped around a pole

Galvanize sheet wrapped around a pole

Montserrat continues to pull itself up from the devastating effects of Hurricane Hugo on September 17.
Most reports say Montserrat was hardest hit and estimated that as many as 98% of all homes were damaged. Many were totally destroyed….
Montserratians have been busy rebuilding their homes and helping friends and neighbours put a shelter over their heads. But thousands still remain homeless.
Some forty tons of galvanize are expected to arrive anytime now as a gift from the United States.
Government sources also say some 400 houses are being built to replace hose public-assistance houses destroyed by Hugo.
Various agencies have been set up to secure and channel funds and to assist with the smooth and speedy rebuilding of the country.
Spirits continue to remain high. And active assistance continues to come from Caribbean countries people, Britain, the United States and Canada.

  The roofless Cotton Ginnery in Plymouth after Hurricane Hugo  Volcano Fury…

tled-1

Cotton Ginery roof and building stripped

(The Montserrat Reporter – Friday, 20th September 1996)
Soufriere Hills volcano burst forth into what all residents and friends of Montserrat hope will be its last serious burst of activity since its eruptive phase began of July 18 last year. The worst that could be said is that, “if worse is yet to come, then that’s nothing to look forward to”…

On Tuesday afternoon, even with the scientists trying to calm fears, saying that the activities at Soufriere Hills had not heightened but rather is in keeping with what they had been saying is likely to happen, residents here were weary of their pronouncements but trusting nevertheless…

There is no guess that what had been occurring must have awakened sleeping residents over the entire island. The sound was such that there was not mistaking over the eventual rumblings of thunder and flashing lightning, that the volcano which by now was belching rocks, gritty sand, gravel and wet ash, was growling and wining deep down.
The results show that the mixture that had fallen was mixed with sand, ash and tiny rocks, making it compact almost like concrete. The roads were not as slippery as usual but many vehicles had lost their windscreens from falling pebbles.

Some 8 houses including the Pentecostal Church house were burnt in Long Ground all from extremely hot rocks falling on them, as well as the Tar River Estate house, which was threatened earlier from pyroclastic flows, finally succumbing as the flows moved further northward and in towards Long Ground…..