Montserrat: the Pompeii of the Caribbean

Caribbean, Destinations, Trip Inspiration

Montserrat’s Soufriere Volcano began erupting (historically) in 1995, and hasn’t stopped since. Its most explosive eruptions occurred on July 12-14, 2003, and sent pyroclastic flows out over a mile into the ocean. They also destroyed large sections of the volcano itself. Chances Peak Volcano also began erupting in 1995 after 300 years of dormancy, causing the southern population of the island to evacuate to the north or to other islands during its violent tenure. It last erupted in 2012.

Photo by Clive Kim from Pexels

For the tourist (though not for the farmers who lost their livelihoods), this is a source of interest. To this day two thirds of the island (including the coastal capital, Plymouth) is an exclusion zone akin to Pompeii–and you can tour it.

© Getty Images / Stocktrek Images/Richard Roscoe

Above you can see some of the ash-covered ruins of Plymouth. Everything you see used to be green. Now it’s uninhabitable; but the green is coming back.

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