Monserrat - Volcanic Eruption

A case study of the effects of the 1990 eruptions.

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The Island...

  • Monserrat is a small island in the Carribean, which is still a British Colony.
  • It is mountaneous and wooded, named 'The Emerald Island'.
  • It's capital is Plymouth.
  • The inhabitants are quite poor and live in small villages; they practice subsistence farming.
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  • Before the eruption; 12,000 people (50%) lived in the capital city.
  • In July 1995 the Southfire Hills erupted for the 1st time in 350 Years.
  • 50% of the inhabitants were evacuated.
  • In April 1996 eruptions continued...
  • In June 1997 another eruption destroyed villages in the island centre - 23 people died.
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Primary Effects

Primary; Immediate impact - death, loss of homes, crops or animals.

  • Villages were destroyed; people lost lives, homes and livestock.
  • Plymouth was evacuated therefore unpopulated and became 'A Ghost Town.'
  • Of 40square miles only 15, in the North were safe for people to be evacuated to: The North was much less developed than the South.
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Secondary Effects

Secondary; After effects - loss of trade, tourism, need to rebuild and high stress levels.

  • People were stranded in the North as there was little communication and transport.
  • Tourism stopped, other industries became restricted.
  • It relied heavily upon support from London, as people became more anxious rioting began.
  • People were living in 'make-shift' houses.
  • The airport closed.
  • Loss to the economy restricted trade.
  • (Poor sanitation and health leads to spread in diseases such as Cholera).
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Short & Medium/Long Term Effects

Short Term Effects:

  • Aid was sent.
  • Homes and areas of land were lost.
  • Plymouth was destroyed.
  • Britain was relied upon for aid.
  • People over 18 recieved £2400 to stay in Monserrat.
  • £41m of aid was offered for relocation of refugees and redevelopment.

Medium/Long Term Effects:

  • The rebuilding and redevelopment of the areas and settlements.
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