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HomeNewsArchivesVolcanic Ash from Montserrat Predicted to Pass South of the Territory

Volcanic Ash from Montserrat Predicted to Pass South of the Territory

Jan. 8, 2007 — There's only an outside chance that volcanic ash from Montserrat will blow this way, according to the National Weather Service.
"The airflow will likely keep it away," said Meteorologist Scott Stripling, speaking Monday from San Juan. The Soufriere Hills volcano erupted Monday morning.
The ash will probably blow to the south of the Virgin Islands, Stripling said.
"But it's possible some of the ash, as it disperses out in the low and mid-level airflow, could cross the area," he said.
Numerous eruptions over the years have sent ash across the territory, irritating eyes and throats, causing allergic reactions, coating houses and vehicles with a gray dust and forcing airlines to cancel flights.
The Montserrat volcano erupted 35,000 feet in the air after a lava dome began developing last week, Stripling said. According to the Montserrat Volcano Observatory website, the volcano began erupting at 5:54 a.m. An ash cloud was visible all over Montserrat.
By 9:30 a.m., seismic activity returned to what the website termed "background levels."
Pyroclastic flows — lava, in laymen's terms — are moving downhill from the northwest side of the volcano.
The volcano began erupting on July 18, 1995, eventually forcing nearly half the island's population of 12,000 to leave. In 1997, an eruption buried nearly all of the southern part of the island, including the capital city of Plymouth. It killed 18 people.
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