Thursday, 18 February 2010

mean nature | Montserrat volcanoe eruption

[Photos: courtesy of a geology site on the net]

This is how Soufrière Hills looks nowadays: active and mean.  A week ago today the Soufrière Hills volcano of Montserrat, small English-speaking island in the Caribbean, partly exploded and left the neighbouring island of Guadeloupe and later Dominica and Martinique covered in a big cloud of ashes. This had not happened since it suddenly erupted back in 1995. Consequently, the airport and schools were closed 2 days before the Carnival Holidays started and the most sensitive people had to walk around with masks to avoid breathing the nasty air. I was reported that as it suddenly turned dark on Thursday last week, the whole island was covered with ashes transported by the blowing wind from Montserrat.  You were not able to see in front of you if you were outside. The inhabitants had been hoping for rain to wash away the ashes but now entering the Carême  period, which is the Caribbean very hot season, it's not likely to rain soon.  Fortunately, as reported today, things are gradually returning to normal.  


Aledys Ver said...

Wow, it does look really mean. I haven't seen this on the news, but I have just been watching the daily Dutch 10 minutes newsreading at 8 am and that's all.
All these islands on the Caribbean arch are volcanic in origin, if I remember correctly. And they are so close together that no wonder that if something like this happens, neighbouring islands also get affected by it. Has anything like this ever happened in Guadeloupe?
In 2008 we had sth like this happening in Argentina with volcano Chaltén which is very far down south in the Andes region. THe ashes reached even Buenos Aires, some (roughly) 2.000 km away from the site.
Fascinating things volcanoes, but also extremely dangerous of course!

aggieLap said...

Well, this was not in the news in the Netherlands, as it was not major international news. It was a 'low-key' catastrophe. Mainly reported on French news website and the international AFP, which shares news across the globe. The last eruption of Guadeloupe's volcano, also called "La Soufrière", was back in 1976: the population of the Basse-Terre part, where the volcano is located, had to be evacuated to the Grande-Terre part of the island [in a butterfly shape, these 2 islands are separated by a bridge and therefore form Guadeloupe into one]. Indeed, all volcanic matters are taken seriously and can become dangerous at some point. The Canary Islands are also a threat and could have serious impact on the American East Coast and the Caribbean if one of their volcanoes would collapse, a tsunami would follow. I didn't hear of what happened in Argentina in 2008 with volcano Chaltén but it's nice of you to share.

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