Montserrat: Volcanic Eruption
Death Toll: 19 deaths.
Cause: The Island is situated on Destructive plate boundary. Montserrat was formed by volcanic action. It is located on a destructive plate margin where the Atlantic and Caribbean Plates move towards each other, have formed an island arc. Soufrière Hills volcano has been dormant for 400 years. The soils surrounding it, consisting of weathered volcanic material, were extremely fertile and, together with the hot, wet climate had attracted many farmers to the area.
What Happened: During July 1995, people living in the capital of Plymouth, became aware of an increase in sulphur fumes, but it was not until the steam was seen coming from the summit. When the first explosions began, nearby farmers collected the harvest that they could. Further eruptions caused ash to fall. Inhabitants were evacuated to a safe zone in the north. Although the south of the island became increasingly covered in ash, there was no big eruption.
The biggest explosion to date took place in June 1997. It caused large pyroclastic flows which, for the first time, over-ran several small settlements and caused the death…