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Soufriere Hills Volcano 15 Years on Conference, shares lessons learned

A number of scientists, volcanologists and the like from the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Hungary, United States of America, Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Costa Rica and other countries assembled in Montserrat to observe the Soufriere Hills Volcano (SHV) 15 Years on Scientific Conference. The conference began on Sunday evening at the Montserrat Cultural Centre.

The lessons learnt from the eruptions at the SHV were shared during the one week session. Dynamics of Physical Volcanology; Petrology and Geochemistry; Hazard Assessment; Risk, Perception and Outreach; Monitoring Techniques; and Modeling and Geophysics are among the topics dealt with.

Director of the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) Dr. Paul Cole in presenting a video update focused on the changes of the topography of the island as a result of the 2009 and 2010 eruptions.

Acting Governor, H.E. Sarita Francis and Chief Minister the Honourable Reuben T. Meade were among the speakers. Her Excellency highly praised the scientists for the job done over the past 15 years and also for the development of what is now the MVO. Chief Minister Meade posited that the forum can be used as a launching pad for the MVO to be recognized as a learning facility, from which information can be acquired and shared globally.

Kathy Buffonge, a local resident who penned a layman’s perspective volume of books on the volcano, indicated that she wanted to continue learning about the developments in the field. “We often make light of the ash that is shared with other islands such as Guadeloupe but Tuesday’s presentation has shown that it is taken quite seriously there, and they have developed an emergency plan and other programmes to deal with the effects as a result of the eruptions (erupting events) on Montserrat.”

Another participant, visiting volcanologist from Costa Rica, Eliecer Duarte-Gonzalez had been collaborating with scientists from Montserrat over the years. He said his presence at the forum helped him to better understand more about the three active volcanoes in Costa Rica as well as those which can erupt. Costa Rica has a mountain range comprising over 100 volcanoes, many of which are said to be dormant.

As part of activities, trips were made on Wednesday and Friday to Soufriere as well as the dormant volcanoes at Centre Hills and Silver Hills. Other activities held include a Fun Run and Walk this Sunday.
Meanwhile Professor Steve Sparks of Bristol University as saluted Montserrat for being a center of pioneering work in volcanology, professor sparks says the work here has helped with the understanding of volcanoes around the world.
Sparks said: “…that the science that is being done by the international community in Japan and the US, on Montserrat and elsewhere …that science is … accumulated to make us much better predicting, therefore much better at anticipating, getting people out of the way; so that was a great success and I think it  is indicative of where volcanology is going.”

This forum was organized by the MVO with assistance from Seismic Research Centre, University West Indies. Many of the participants started their career in the 1990s when the Soufriere Hills Volcano became active. According to Back then, students of seismology and other researchers sought information about the Soufriere Hills Volcano and others across the world.

According to a release issued by the MVO in March, “Montserrat has changed immeasurably during the last 15 years. The Soufriere Hills Volcano has altered the island’s economy and environment, and has changed the way people of Montserrat live their lives.”

The document further states that the Soufriere Hills Volcano erupted over one kilometre3 of andesitic magma in five distinct phases and activity has involved a diverse range of volcanic phenomena. The eruption continues to break records with the largest and highest lava dome, long run out pyroclastic flows impacting previously unaffected areas during the most recent phase of lava extrusion in 2009 and early 2010.

The eruption has had a profound effect on the island rendering more than half of the island uninhabitable and reducing the population by more than 75 percent. Ash falls have also impacted neighbouring islands and civil aviation operations in the region.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

A number of scientists, volcanologists and the like from the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Hungary, United States of America, Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Costa Rica and other countries assembled in Montserrat to observe the Soufriere Hills Volcano (SHV) 15 Years on Scientific Conference. The conference began on Sunday evening at the Montserrat Cultural Centre.

The lessons learnt from the eruptions at the SHV were shared during the one week session. Dynamics of Physical Volcanology; Petrology and Geochemistry; Hazard Assessment; Risk, Perception and Outreach; Monitoring Techniques; and Modeling and Geophysics are among the topics dealt with.

Director of the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) Dr. Paul Cole in presenting a video update focused on the changes of the topography of the island as a result of the 2009 and 2010 eruptions.

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Acting Governor, H.E. Sarita Francis and Chief Minister the Honourable Reuben T. Meade were among the speakers. Her Excellency highly praised the scientists for the job done over the past 15 years and also for the development of what is now the MVO. Chief Minister Meade posited that the forum can be used as a launching pad for the MVO to be recognized as a learning facility, from which information can be acquired and shared globally.

Kathy Buffonge, a local resident who penned a layman’s perspective volume of books on the volcano, indicated that she wanted to continue learning about the developments in the field. “We often make light of the ash that is shared with other islands such as Guadeloupe but Tuesday’s presentation has shown that it is taken quite seriously there, and they have developed an emergency plan and other programmes to deal with the effects as a result of the eruptions (erupting events) on Montserrat.”

Another participant, visiting volcanologist from Costa Rica, Eliecer Duarte-Gonzalez had been collaborating with scientists from Montserrat over the years. He said his presence at the forum helped him to better understand more about the three active volcanoes in Costa Rica as well as those which can erupt. Costa Rica has a mountain range comprising over 100 volcanoes, many of which are said to be dormant.

As part of activities, trips were made on Wednesday and Friday to Soufriere as well as the dormant volcanoes at Centre Hills and Silver Hills. Other activities held include a Fun Run and Walk this Sunday.
Meanwhile Professor Steve Sparks of Bristol University as saluted Montserrat for being a center of pioneering work in volcanology, professor sparks says the work here has helped with the understanding of volcanoes around the world.
Sparks said: “…that the science that is being done by the international community in Japan and the US, on Montserrat and elsewhere …that science is … accumulated to make us much better predicting, therefore much better at anticipating, getting people out of the way; so that was a great success and I think it  is indicative of where volcanology is going.”

This forum was organized by the MVO with assistance from Seismic Research Centre, University West Indies. Many of the participants started their career in the 1990s when the Soufriere Hills Volcano became active. According to Back then, students of seismology and other researchers sought information about the Soufriere Hills Volcano and others across the world.

According to a release issued by the MVO in March, “Montserrat has changed immeasurably during the last 15 years. The Soufriere Hills Volcano has altered the island’s economy and environment, and has changed the way people of Montserrat live their lives.”

The document further states that the Soufriere Hills Volcano erupted over one kilometre3 of andesitic magma in five distinct phases and activity has involved a diverse range of volcanic phenomena. The eruption continues to break records with the largest and highest lava dome, long run out pyroclastic flows impacting previously unaffected areas during the most recent phase of lava extrusion in 2009 and early 2010.

The eruption has had a profound effect on the island rendering more than half of the island uninhabitable and reducing the population by more than 75 percent. Ash falls have also impacted neighbouring islands and civil aviation operations in the region.