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A Hill of Fury Soufriere Hills Volcano Montserrat Island After 400 years of quiet slumber the Soufriere Hills volcano on the tiny island of Montserrat in the Carribean Sea Figure 1 came to life in the summer of 1997 The eruptions threatened the original 11000 residents of the island and even today continue to be a nuisance to the remaining 4000 people who refuse to leave the island despite warnings of impending danger At least 20 people have already been killed and several villages destroyed The Montserrat Volcano Observatory analyzes the active volcano and provides information to scientists and residents of the island Montserrat Volcano Observatory 12 The worst of the eruption may or may not have already passed Fig2 Pyroclastic flows reached the Sea and formed a delta at the mouth of a major river Discovery 1Residents of Montserrat face many potential dangers as a result of the Soufriere Hills Volcano A deadly combination of ash rock and hot gases form pyroclastic flows which travel down the steep slopes of the volcano at speeds which are often more than 100 miles per hour Skurzinsky 39 Eruptions of Soufriere Hills in June August and December of 1997 created pyroclastic flows which blasted toward the sea along the White River at high speeds Figure 2 Several villages were destroyed as a result The capital city Plymouth was burned to the ground and then covered in volcanic rock and ash Figure 3 Twenty people were killed despite evacuation attempts and warnings One Hundred seventy-five homes were destroyed and the flows came within 200 feet of the airport Williams 59 The monetary amount of the damage has not been calculated because the destroyed towns are uninhabitable Many people lost everything they had Figure 4 An excerpt from the Montserrat Volcano Observatory describes the situation shortly after the eruption Fig3 The evacuated capital city Plymouth burned in Aug 1997 as a result of the eruptions
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