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Islands Magazine Montserrat Volcano

Islands Magazine Montserrat Volcano

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Published by Islands Magazine
Islands magazine features the resurrection of Montserrat in a photo essay of the Caribbean island recovering from the eruption of a volcano.
Islands magazine features the resurrection of Montserrat in a photo essay of the Caribbean island recovering from the eruption of a volcano.

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Published by: Islands Magazine on Aug 10, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/26/2012

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the resurrection of montserrat
a photo essay by jad davenport
into the light
For centuries, visitors to Montserrat had discovered what the locals already knew: the “Emerald Isle” was aparadise. Here in the British West Indies, clear mountain springs watered the terraced banana plantations.Trade winds cooled the quaint colonial streets o Plymouth, the capital. The slumbering volcano called SouriereHills rose above the descendants o Arican slaves and Irish and English immigrants who called Montserrathome. One morning nearly 15 years ago, the paradise they knew ended. A visit today reveals a new beginning.
 
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forces of nature
Souriere Hills awoke in a series o deadly eruptions in 1995. Plymouth was evacuated and eventually buried inmudslides and ash, like a modern-day Pompeii. The southern two-thirds o the island was condemned as an o-limits “exclusion zone.” More than hal o Montserrat’s population let orever. But 4,000 islanders have madetheir stand in the northern “sae zone.” Scientists think the area is beyond the reach o the volcano, which isstill active. “There’s hope,” says one islander whose village was lost. “Nature has a way o healing hersel.”
 
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strength of spirit
“We called him Brother Hammy,” says villager James Roach. “He came around telling us to repent. I we didn’t,he said the devil was gonna come down rom the mountain and pay us a visit.” The wrath o Souriere Hillsis seen in the ruins, and scientists rom the Montserrat Volcano Observatory are now the only ones visiting.But the aith o the people here — while sorely tested — remains strong. “Rather than dwell on what they’velost,” says Father George Agger, a priest with St. Patrick’s Parish, “the people say, ‘Thank God we have lie.’”

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