Montserrat’s volcanic eruption began 23 years ago

Soufriere Hills mountain, March 5, 2018

by Bennette Roach

July 18 is a date that Montserratians all over the world and especially those old enough to remember, the day when volcanic activity was announced. It was a Tuesday night, and the next day people reported they heard the rumbling sounds in the mountains, “like a jet plane passing.”

It was 23 years ago, in 1995, when Soufriere Hills volcano began erupting.

July 18, 2018 marks the 23rd anniversary of the Soufriere Hills volcano eruption. The eruption and ensuing explosions, pyroclastic flows and fatal events, have rendered more than one third of the island uninhabitable destroying the capital city Plymouth and causing widespread evacuations.

When the Soufriere Hills volcano began its activity in 1995 no one, not even after months when the scientists might have convinced all that this was a volcano that had been quiet for hundreds of years had come to life, believed or thought that this would be spoken of 23 years later, as being still considered not yet back to sleep.

AS the hurricane season comes active, there is usually the question, especially remembering the previous tragedy of hurricane Hugo, “will Montserrat ever face a disaster, like this again?”

Everyone will remember something of significance from this eruption that they will remember individually. But it is likely that the one event that would never be forgotten, when on June 25, 1997, we remembered few weeks ago, pyroclastic flows, swept northwards from a dome collapse, resulting in the tragic deaths of 19 Montserratians. Another five persons received serious burn injuries, from the flows and the associated surge clouds.

Montserrat has certainly not recovered from near extinction, and today it is still not known that there are those among the authorities (powers that be) who do not believe that this is still not a possibility. That thought or belief has been the hindrance of any honest and serious effort to develop the north of Montserrat into normal lives for the residents.

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Soufriere Hills mountain, March 5, 2018

by Bennette Roach

July 18 is a date that Montserratians all over the world and especially those old enough to remember, the day when volcanic activity was announced. It was a Tuesday night, and the next day people reported they heard the rumbling sounds in the mountains, “like a jet plane passing.”

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It was 23 years ago, in 1995, when Soufriere Hills volcano began erupting.

July 18, 2018 marks the 23rd anniversary of the Soufriere Hills volcano eruption. The eruption and ensuing explosions, pyroclastic flows and fatal events, have rendered more than one third of the island uninhabitable destroying the capital city Plymouth and causing widespread evacuations.

When the Soufriere Hills volcano began its activity in 1995 no one, not even after months when the scientists might have convinced all that this was a volcano that had been quiet for hundreds of years had come to life, believed or thought that this would be spoken of 23 years later, as being still considered not yet back to sleep.

AS the hurricane season comes active, there is usually the question, especially remembering the previous tragedy of hurricane Hugo, “will Montserrat ever face a disaster, like this again?”

Everyone will remember something of significance from this eruption that they will remember individually. But it is likely that the one event that would never be forgotten, when on June 25, 1997, we remembered few weeks ago, pyroclastic flows, swept northwards from a dome collapse, resulting in the tragic deaths of 19 Montserratians. Another five persons received serious burn injuries, from the flows and the associated surge clouds.

Montserrat has certainly not recovered from near extinction, and today it is still not known that there are those among the authorities (powers that be) who do not believe that this is still not a possibility. That thought or belief has been the hindrance of any honest and serious effort to develop the north of Montserrat into normal lives for the residents.