August 14, 2014

1183 UNITED KINGDOM (Montserrat) - The eruption of Soufrière Hills volcano

Montserrat, nicknamed The Emerald Isle of the Caribbean, is a British Overseas Territory located in the Leeward Islands, part of the chain of islands known as the Lesser Antilles, at approximately 480km east-southeast of Puerto Rico and 48km southwest of Antigua. In July 1995, Soufrière Hills volcano, a complex stratovolcano with many lava domes forming its summit, dormant for centuries, erupted and buried the island's capital, Plymouth, in more than 12m of mud, destroyed its airport and docking facilities, and rendered the southern part of the island uninhabitable. After the destruction of Plymouth and disruption of the economy, more than half of the population left the island, which lacked housing. The volcano is andesitic in nature and the current pattern of activity includes periods of dome growth, punctuated by brief episodes of dome collapse which result in pyroclastic flows, ash venting, and explosive eruption.

During the late 1990s, additional eruptions occurred. For a number of years in the early 2000s, the volcano's activity consisted mostly of infrequent ventings of ash into the uninhabited areas in the south. The ash falls occasionally extended into the northern and western parts of the island. In the most recent period of increased activity at the volcano, from November 2009 through February 2010, ash vented and there was a vulcanian explosion which sent pyroclastic flows down several sides of the mountain. In recognition of the disaster, in 1998 the people of Montserrat were granted full residency rights in the United Kingdom, allowing them to migrate if they chose.

About the stamps

The both stamps are part of a series of 16 definitive stamps, issued on 2013 and depicting moths and butterflies of Montserrat. 

Montserrat - Wikipedia
Soufrière Hills - Wikipedia

Sender: Montserrat Philatelic Bureau
Sent from Brades (Montserrat), on ??.06.2014
photo: Pierre Alain Pantz

1 comment: