Montserrat volcanic eruption

issues/management/preparation and response

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  • Created by: Ellie
  • Created on: 26-05-12 16:34

Quick Facts

Date: 18th July 1995

Location: Soufriere Hills, Montserrat.  L.E.D.C

Plate Location: Caribbean and Atlantic

Physical Cause: The two plates slowly moved together, the oceanic plate was forced under the continental plate

Population was 11,000 to 12,000, but this has decreased to 4,000 due to death or evacuation. 

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Physical facts

  • when the volcano erupted it produce thic lava called andesite. 
  • This built up anf the top of the volcano until it becomes so heavy the dome collapses into pyroclastic flows
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Physical Effects

  • Pyroclastic flows created more land
  • Farmland on the south of the island was destroyed
  • Roads blocked
  • 100-150 houses buried by hot pyroclastic surges
  • Destroyed W.H Bramble airport in 1997
  • Thick ash made it impossible to see roads
  • vehicles melted from intense heat
  • Flooding occured and valleys were blocked by ash
  • forest fires caused by pyroclastic flows
  • schools and hospitals destroyed
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Human Effects

  • 23 people died
  • burns and scalding from lava
  • unauthorized people entered exclusion zone and were too far away to hear any warnings.
  • Pressures on officials to allow access to farmland due to insufficient food supplies
  • loss of homes and jobs
  • damage to economy
  • loss of education and health due to loss of schools and hospitals
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Prediction and Prevention

  • Exclusion zones had been set up
  • W.H Bramble airport was prepared allowing them to evacuate the area in less than 5 minutes
  • in return, this prevented a fuel tanker from exploding as fuel lines were disconnected in time.
  • An increase in volcanic activity was predicted in the early stages
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  • Emergency sirens sounded which saved authorized visitors but did not get through to the unauthorized
  • live updates broadcasted on radios
  • islanders relied on food aid but there was not sufficient amounts. This therefore put pressure on officials to allow access to farming
  • 136 evacuees moved into emergency housing
  • various organisations became involved in offering aid
  • British government is responsible for the support of £41 million of aid
  • Montserrat volcano observatory supplied a risk management zone map
  • Helicopter picked up survivors in the Trants area.
  • Emergency support from French and Dutch helicopters
  • Animal organisation providing food and medicine for animals 
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