When the Soufrière Hills volcano in the center of Montserrat, an island in the Caribbean, began to erupt in August of 1995, the capital city of Plymouth was immediately evacuated. The city itself was mostly spared, so people were let back in Over the course of the next 2 years, the eruption continued off and on and each time a pyroclastic or mudflow would form and threaten Plymouth, the city was emptied out again until it was deemed “safe” to return. In 1997, the call to return never happened. The city was hit full force by lava, ash, and mud, and was buried, 20 meters deep in some parts of the city. The southern 2/3 of the island was declared an “exclusion zone”, which still exists today. Now, the only way to visit Plymouth is by helicopter tour from Antigua (which has become a fairly popular cruise port excursion).
Here’s some video of what Plymouth looked like before it was destroyed
And here’s what it looks like today:
Those who dodged the first pyroclastic flow included:
- Phil Ower
And those who had to have help to evacuate (after the hint):
- steve willis
- Ann K.
- José Miguel Diaz