Hi everyone. On December 12 we went to Montserrat to tour the Soulfriere hills volcano. Our tour guide was Joe Phillips. He was the best tour guide ever! If you want to tour the volcano and wreckage you should choose him.
WHAT IS A VOLCANO?
To start off stating all the facts I learned I will start with telling you what a volcano is. A volcano is an opening on the earths surface where hot rock pushes out. Magma is the name for the molten rock which is held deep in earths surface. When magma reaches the surface of the volcano when its erupting it is called lava. Lava can plile up or collect at the top of the volcano. This is called a dome.
SOUFRIERE HILLS VOLCANO
The soufriere hills volcano was a dormant volcano otherwise known as a sleeping volcano. It had been inactive for 400 years. But in 1995 it began to push out hot rock and ash in small explosions. The volcano has continued to be active to today.
The volcano eruptions have caused 2/3 of the land in Montserrat uninhabitable. It also buried the countries capital, Plymouth in ash. The houses that we visted have been buried in ash. The hotel that we went to was filled so high in ash that you had to duck so you wouldnt hit your head on the ceiling! Also in one of the hotel rooms it was so buried that the tiolet was just a whole in the ground! We only got to go into 3 houses becuase the rest were buired under ground. Some areas were burried under 30 feet of Ash with the entire town covered. We drove by a three story house, where only the top floor was visible – crazy! Montserrat has actually grown after the volcano erruptions. All the ash and lava have spilled out and expanded the island. In the picture to the right, a screen shot from my dad’s phone, it looks like we are on the water in our boat, but ACTUALLY we were sitting in Joe’s Cab 100 yards before we reached the beach. Crazy how much the land has expanded.
After the volcano eruption it was every man for himself. The church we went to all the benches were piled up. The cabinets were open and papers everywhere. It was kind of sad to see all the things raided. But it was hard times. The house we went to everything was gone. Every single kitchen cabinet empty. Some stuff was left, but most it was gone. In the hotel every lamp, every bed frame and mattress, everything was gone! In some rooms there was a bed frame or a lamp lying around. But that was rare.
Very few deaths occurred. Joe told us a very sad story about his friend named Simon. Anyway here is the story: Simon needed to go get
something out of his house so he took Joe’s sisters car. (his house was buried.) That night Simon didn’t come back. Simon and the car was never seen again… In all there was about 30 deaths.
An eruption in a volcano is caused when gases and magma collect below the surface of the volcano. They begin to build up pressure. Eventually the pressure is so strong that ash and gas are forced out of the volcano. That is what causes an eruption to happen.
TYPES OF VOLCANOES
There are 3 types of volcanoes. Active, Dormant, and Extinct. Active is when the volcano can erupt anytime. The Soufriere hills volcano is an example of an Active volcano. Dormant is when a volcano have not erupted for a long time. Often hundreds of years. But they could anytime. The Soufrie hills volcano used to be a dormant volcano. But due to the past eruptions it is an Active volcano. Extinct is when a volcano have not erupted for a very long time. The volcano also shows no sign of erupting.
-The name volcano comes from Vulcan the roman god of fire
-80% of the earths surfaces a volcanic origin
-Across the world 1 in 10 people live within the danger zone of a volcano
-Scientists who study volcanoes are called volcanologist.
-scientists who studies earthquakes are called seismologists
-Montserrat has 3 volcano, 1 active 2 extinct
This are some safety precautions you should take if you ever go to a native country with a volcano. If you live by a volcano you would know but make sure you are always doing so. But here is the #1 rule:STAY CALM
What Should I Do If The Volcanic Activity Rises?
AT SCHOOL- Follow the evacuation plan, listen to teachers
AT HOME- Follow the family evacuation plan, help your parents with younger brothers, sisters, and older members
How Should I Stay Safe When Ash Falls?
-Stay indoors as long as you can. Only go outside if you need to.
-Always try to carry an ash mask with you
-During heavy ash fall waer your ash mask. If you dont have one cover your mouth with a clean peice of cloth.
So thats all the facts I have. Here are all the pictures of our tour.
For more information on Montserrat and the volcanoes, check out the Montserrat Volcano Observatory
Check out my gallery – Mira!