Montserrat Volcano

Montserrat Volcano
The island of ?Montserrat? was first created quite a long time ago inthe southern Caribbean. An undersea volcano erupted from the ocean?sfloor. The volcano built an undersea mountain that grew higher andhigher, eventually growing above the sea. Some many hundreds of yearslater Europeans and their African slaves colonized this tiny (13 × 8km) tropical island. They called the high part on the south side ofthe island ?Soufriére Hills? (sometimes called ?North Soufriére Hills?to distinguish it from the older dead volcano next to it).The Soufriére Hills Volcano on the island of Montserrat in theCaribbean became active on July 18, 1995. The volcanic eruptions onlystarted to get worse in August 1995, April 1996 and June 1997
The Cause ===== [image]The Montserrat irruption in 1995 was probably caused by subduction. This normally happens when two plates move together. The denser oceanic crust, in this case the North America plate, sinks below the lighter continental crust in this case the Caribbean plate. The oceanic crust sinks into the mantle where it melts in the subduction zone. The water that was absorbed rises into the overlying mantle (pyroclastic flow). This water causes the overlying mantle to melt to form magma.Bubbles of sulphur dioxide, water vapour and carbon dioxide rise with the magma, growing in size as they approach the Earth?s surface. Like a badly shaken up bottle of coke the gas tends to want to get out until it pops. When that happens energy is released as an earthquake and the molten magma may rise upwards causing a volcanic eruption. The more gas there is, the faster it will force its way out, and the more likely it will explode when it gets to the surface. Later the continental crust becomes crumpled into Fold Mountains. ============== Impact == Primary Effects: The primary effects of the eruption in 1995 were the loss of 23 human lives, the loss of homes, and the animals to eat had been killed. The biggest school on the island was destroyed, the only hospital was gone, along with Plymouth the island?s main city evacuated, most of the industry where there were many jobs to be found was destroyed. Twenty-six villages and farm plots with their important crops on were also destroyed. There was also major destruction of the airport on the east and the port on the west of the island. In short the economy and long-term development were destroyed. The natural environment of the island has suffered long-term damage as sulphurous gases were released into the atmosphere and began to form acid rain. It burned the vegetation and increased the acidity of lakes and streams, to such extent that some fish and plankton could not survive. Secondary Effects: The secondary effects (after effects) of the eruption in 1995 were things such as the loss of their trade crops like rice, other materials and also the loss of most of Montserrat?s tourism due to the shutdown of airport and port. The need to rebuild, reliance mainly relied on aid coming from London all added to the stress felt by local people. -????????????????????????????????? [image]Long-term Impacts There were many long-term impacts as the southern two thirds of Montserrat were declared a danger zone. Many people have since left the island, most moving to Antigua and Britain. Only about 4,000 of an original 11,000 residents are still on the island, most of them in the northern part, and this will carry on to be like this until the Soufriére Hills are not active. ============== People who?s houses was destroyed and covered with volcanic ash cannot afford new ones and so have no where to stay. People have had to live in makeshift shelters with inadequate sanitation until they could afford another house. The eruptions have also done damage to the vegetation on Montserrat. Especially the cloud forest, but also the coastal mangroves and the coral reefs were affected by the pyroclastic flows, volcanic gases and ash deposits (not easily replaceable). Vegetation was destroyed by acid rain, the loss was immense and it will take time for the acid rain to stop, this also leads to the pollution of the lakes and streams, which makes animal life almost impossible. What was done? ====== Immediately after the eruption the southern part of the island was evacuated and declared a danger zone. People who wanted to leave the island were paid £2400 by the British government in compensation, this was only to each adult over the age of eighteen. The totalling amount given by the British government was £41 million mainly to redevelop the north of the island and £10.5 million to relocate refugees to other countries such as Antigua and Britain. The British also started to rebuild other parts of the north. Some fifty houses were built by Brown & Root for immediate occupancy, along with a new port in the Little Bay (west of the island). The British were not to sure if they were to rebuild the south as it is not worth the money involved for only 4,000 people as well as the scientists saying they could not predict if and when the volcano may erupt again. Scientists argue further development efforts would be wasted as they would be wiped out by the next eruption, which would probably destroy the whole island.

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