Montserrat volcanic activity

Phin Sprague sent us this picture of Montserrat taken in early January from the deck of Lion’s Whelp. Actually several pictures stitched together in Photoshop, it shows the island at dawn January 8 during increased pyroclastic activity that day. For more on the conditions at this Caribbean hotspot, try here and feel free to ask Phin questions or make commments below.

According to the island volcano observatory: “the maritime exclusion zone around the southern part of the island extends 4 km off shore from Spanish Point to Roches Yard on the east side of the volcano, 2 km offshore from O’Garras to Gingoes on the south-west, and 200 m offshore from Plymouth. In view of the level of volcanic activity, a review of the extent of the maritime exclusion zone offshore around Plymouth in progress, and extreme caution should be exercised in that area.”

Phin concurs.

Charlie Humphries on 01/17/2007 15:15


Great to see the photo(s). Sad really, in many ways. I used to spend a lot of time on the lovely island of Montserrat back in the mid to late 80’s and up until the Soufrierre became active in the early 90s. My folks had a home in Olde Towne and I was bumming around on boats based in Antigua during that time. In 1986 I hiked up in to the volcano (pre active) to collect some volcanic stones that when broken open had crystals in them. I am no geologist but these were pretty cool (Hot) stones. Over the years I got to know a number of Montserrations and they are some of the kindest, best people I have ever met/known. I have maintained contact with many whose lives have been changed forever by the activities of the volcano. A dear friend, Ita, is now living in Birmingham, England with her two daughters. Imagine being forced to leave a gorgeous place like Montserrat and ending up in Birmingham; an industrial, grey, grim place in the midlands of England. I spoke with Ita a few weeks ago and she is upbeat and cheerful. The people of Montserrat, like the island itself are a resilient bunch. Ita still hopes to return home one day when the volcano becomes dormant again. There is much discussion on that subject amongst the Volcanologists that are on the Island. Many may remember Hurricane Hugo which decimated Montserrat on Sept 16th 1989. Again the resilience of the island and her people was astounding. I hope that one day the volcano that is Montserrat will quiet and stay dormant for another thousand years so that her people can return, rebuild their lives and enjoy one of the most glorious places in the World. Montserrat truly is the Gem of the Caribbean.

Jamie Findlay Sarna on 02/21/2007 19:12

Wow! So That’s what it looked like! Can’t imagine being so close to that kind of natural wide-screen drama.

By Ocean Navigator