Since our trip last spring, the island of Montserrat has changed dramatically. The island has been evacuated, and the safe zones changed drastically. This is a view of the delta that was formed in Sept '96. This image was taken April 2, 1997, shortly after our visit.

The north side of the island had been a safe zone. Now the risk map, published July 4th, shows that the previous safe zones are now at risk. The airport at which we spent several hours observing the ongoing eruption, has been covered by a pyroclastic flow.

In July of 1997, there were  numerous rock falls and  pyroclastic flows on the north and west flanks of the volcano generating ash columns reaching ~3 km before dissapating into the atmosphere. Spines growing from the dome, reaching 50 m high, would collapse again in a matter of a few days.This image was taken from the space shuttle on July 2, 1997. The island of Montserrat is barely visible underneath the ash plume.

In August 1997, flows were running down the north and west flanks, and ash plumes were rising 4 - 7 km into the atmosphere. When activity slowed down enough to study the flows, it was found that they were rich in pumice.

For more information about this volcano visit: or, , click on Soufriere Hills.

To find out about any other volcanoes visit: