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Case study: Chances Peak,
Montserrat, 199597 an LEDC
Plymouth covered in ash from volcanic eruptions
Montserrat is a small island in the Caribbean. There is a volcanic area
located in the south of the island, called Soufriere Hills.
The volcanic peak in this area is called Chances Peak, which had
been dormantdormant: A volcano is classed as dormant when it is
temporarily inactive but not fully extinct. for over 300 years. Then in
1995, the volcano began to give off warning signs of an eruption
(small earthquakes and eruptions of dust and ash). Once Chances Peak
had woken up it then remained active for a period of five years. The
most intense eruptions occurred in 1997.
During this time, Montserrat was devastated by pyroclastic
flowspyroclastic flow: A pyroclastic flow is a very hot mixture of
volcanic debris that flows downhill at high speeds.. The small
population of the island (11,000 people)
was evacuated[evacuated: removed or sent away ] in 1995 to the
north of Montserrat as well as to neighbouring islands and the UK.
Despite the evacuations, 19 people were killed by the eruptions. This is
because a small group of people chose to stay behind on the island
and watch over their crops.
Volcanic eruptions and laharslahars: A lahar is a destructive volcanic
landslide or mudflow, consisting of a mixture of volcanic debris, mud,
rock and water. have destroyed large areas of Montserrat. The capital,
Plymouth, has been covered in layers of ash and mud. Homes and
buildings including the only hospital, the airport and many roads have
The graphic shows the progress of the eruption and its impact on the
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Montserrat eruption progress and impact
These include evacuation, money for compensation and redevelopment
from the British government, unemployment due to the collapse of the
tourist industry, and abandonment of the capital city.
These include a volcanic observatory to monitor the volcano, the
building of new roads and a new airport, an expansion of services in the
north of the island, an exclusion zone in the volcanic region, and a
growth in tourism based on the presence of the volcano.…read more