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Volcanic activities began 21 years ago

20160725_165915 (1)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 Thursday night, and the next day people reported they heard the rumbling sounds in the mountains, “like a jet plane passing.” It was 18 years ago, in 1995, when Soufriere Hills volcano began erupting.

July 18, 2016 marked the 21st 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 21 years later, as being still alive and active.20160725_170057

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, just remembered last week, pyroclastic flows, swept northwards from a dome collapse, resulting in the tragic deaths of 19 ontserratians.  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.

20160725_165216It certainly has been the cause of much ‘confusion’ since that belief had never been admitted until 2008, when it was revealed that the time had come to move forward.

A report of an investigation of the major British aid department, shows that efforts have been misguided. It decided, while, “DFID has worked closely and successfully with the Government of Montserrat to help the island make the transition from the immediate post-disaster emergency to a stable normality, albeit with significant financial support.

While there were a range of strategic documents emanating from the Strategic Growth Plan, there is still to come a coherent, meaningful strategic view of self-sufficiency.

21 years on, the MVO still reminds residents (it is their job) and visitors alike that even though the volcano has been quiet for more than six years now major activity can still occur at any time without warning.

The records show that the last activity of any significance according to the MVO occurred in February 2010, where there was a dome collapse to the North East of the volcano. Montserrat Volcano 20160725_165522Observatory.

Meanwhile Honourable Premier Donaldson Romeo says inspite of the present challenges the people of Montserrat are blessed. Premier Romeo says while residents reflect on the past losses this time should be used to look ahead on the many positives that have emerged as a result of volcanic activies.

“Look at what is happening around us we are having a new power plant built, we also have geothermal wells being dug with a hope of being 100% green by 2020 or there about,” he said  “That’s a major thing ahead of most of the region with enough power to supply all we need and more, should those wells be developed as we planned and even with the solar power project that we’re planning to have.

“We have a major business with sandmining going on has that even fully developed yet. Tons and tons of sand washed down from the mountain and all we have to do is excavate it and sift it and it’s costly to do so we have to compete with other nations but it’s quite a gift and the most incredible part of the story is the modern pompei town that we call town, Plymouth the half buried town that we have.

What was such a negative and painful experience to witness our only town destroyed, has turned into a magnificent tourism attraction.”

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20160725_165915 (1)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 Thursday night, and the next day people reported they heard the rumbling sounds in the mountains, “like a jet plane passing.” It was 18 years ago, in 1995, when Soufriere Hills volcano began erupting.

July 18, 2016 marked the 21st 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 21 years later, as being still alive and active.20160725_170057

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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, just remembered last week, pyroclastic flows, swept northwards from a dome collapse, resulting in the tragic deaths of 19 ontserratians.  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.

20160725_165216It certainly has been the cause of much ‘confusion’ since that belief had never been admitted until 2008, when it was revealed that the time had come to move forward.

A report of an investigation of the major British aid department, shows that efforts have been misguided. It decided, while, “DFID has worked closely and successfully with the Government of Montserrat to help the island make the transition from the immediate post-disaster emergency to a stable normality, albeit with significant financial support.

While there were a range of strategic documents emanating from the Strategic Growth Plan, there is still to come a coherent, meaningful strategic view of self-sufficiency.

21 years on, the MVO still reminds residents (it is their job) and visitors alike that even though the volcano has been quiet for more than six years now major activity can still occur at any time without warning.

The records show that the last activity of any significance according to the MVO occurred in February 2010, where there was a dome collapse to the North East of the volcano. Montserrat Volcano 20160725_165522Observatory.

Meanwhile Honourable Premier Donaldson Romeo says inspite of the present challenges the people of Montserrat are blessed. Premier Romeo says while residents reflect on the past losses this time should be used to look ahead on the many positives that have emerged as a result of volcanic activies.

“Look at what is happening around us we are having a new power plant built, we also have geothermal wells being dug with a hope of being 100% green by 2020 or there about,” he said  “That’s a major thing ahead of most of the region with enough power to supply all we need and more, should those wells be developed as we planned and even with the solar power project that we’re planning to have.

“We have a major business with sandmining going on has that even fully developed yet. Tons and tons of sand washed down from the mountain and all we have to do is excavate it and sift it and it’s costly to do so we have to compete with other nations but it’s quite a gift and the most incredible part of the story is the modern pompei town that we call town, Plymouth the half buried town that we have.

What was such a negative and painful experience to witness our only town destroyed, has turned into a magnificent tourism attraction.”