Montserrat Volcano | Soufriere Hills
Home > Caribbean Islands > Lesser Antilles > Leeward Islands > Montserrat >

Caribbean Map

The Soufriere Hills Volcano on the southern end of the tiny island of Montserrat (in the Caribbean Leeward Islands) lay dormant for hundreds of thousands of years. In 1992 small earthquakes started to be noticed and some minor seismic activity began. Three years later on the 18th July 1995 the Soufriere Hills awoke and started spewing steam and ash into the air.

Soufriere Hills Volcano Montserrat


A month after the first visible activity was noticed, the first major eruption took place in August 1995 which covered the nearby town of Plymouth (the capital of the island) in a thick layer volcanic ash. Plymouth and the whole of the southern part of the island was evacuated by the local authorities.

Erupting Volcano

Soufriere Volcano


In 1997 there was a huge volcanic eruption which killed 19 people, buried most of Plymouth and destroyed the W H Bramble airport in a pyroclastic flow. Casualties would have certainly been much higher; however, more than half of the population had already abandoned the island to live elsewhere.

In 1997 more than sixty percent of the remaining population of the island were evacuated. Many locals never returned. Today the population of Montserrat is just over 5,000 and over half of the total area of Montserrat is covered under the volcano exclusion zone and considered too dangerous to redevelop.

Reconstruction has taking place in the north of the island; well away from the reach of the Volcano.

 Seismographs at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory Since 1997 there has been an exclusion zone covering the buried town of Plymouth and the whole of the south eastern part of Montserrat. The volcano now forms a valuable part of the island's tourist industry with viewing tours from safe vantage points.

The mountain is monitored by the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) in Flemmings; including gas emissions and measuring seismic activity. The photo (below) was taken from the observatory (left image).

Soufriere Hills Volcano

Travel, holiday, vacation & cruise guide to the Caribbean. All text and images are Copyright Paradise Islands org. All images on this website are obtained with the permission of the owners and come from various sources including tourist boards.

Please Link to this page from another website, travel blog or social networking site?

The URL of this page is:

Bookmark and Share

Montserrat Map

Plymouth Montserrat

Buried Plymouth

W H Bramble Airport Montserrat

Bramble Airport

Reconstruction of Montserrat


Some of our favourite
Caribbean destinations

Old San Juan Puerto Rico

Old San Juan
Puerto Rico

The Pitons St Lucia

The Pitons
Saint Lucia

Willemstad Curacao


Trunk Bay St John

Trunk Bay
St John USVI

Philipsburg Sint Maarten

Sint Maarten

West Coast Barbados

West Coast

Cane Garden Bay Tortola

Cane Garden Bay
Tortola BVI

Necker Island

Necker Island

Marigot Bay St Lucia

Marigot Bay
St Lucia

El Yunque Rainforest Puerto Rico

El Yunque Rainforest  Puerto Rico