National Geographic: Montserrat Eruption

NZ PREMIERE: MOMENTS THAT STOPPED THE WORLD – ERUPTION ON MONTSERRAT
Wednesday 21 February, 9.30pm on National Geographic

The Caribbean island of Montserrat. 18 July, 1995. After lying dormant for 350 years, the Soufrière Hills volcano suddenly belches hot ash into the air. Scientists rush to monitor this activity but are unable to predict the extraordinary chain of events over the next 24 months that finally lead to tragedy. On 25 June 1997, another eruption sends rivers of deadly superheated gas, rock and ash, tearing down the volcano’s slopes, burning everything in their path. The 5,000°C flow travelling at 100 miles an hour kills 19 people and leaves five more seriously injured. 150 houses are destroyed and two-thirds of the island is left uninhabitable. An investigation gets underway to discover how and why people died. But the biggest question remains what the volcano will do next. The future of Montserrat and its remaining people depend on what scientists can learn about the Soufrière Hills.

Subscribe to our mailing list

About the author