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30 August 2014
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Volcanoes - Prediction
Geological Observations
Geological observations and measurements help scientists at the MVO to improve their knowledge of thevolcano. The recording of data and observation is extremely important as scientists from all over the world visit the observatory and try to make sense of the recorded results. The MVO has recorded data since the beginning of the eruption. This data also assists the government on what action to take to ensure the safety of the people of Montserrat.


This table shows a summary of volcanic activity at the Soufrière Hills Volcano up until 25 June 1997 and key events in response to this activity.
Date Volcanic Activity Key Events in Response to Volcanic Activity
July 95 - August 95
Volcanic activity begins with phreatic activity followed by explosions and ash falls on Plymouth area
An Emergency Operations Centre is activated. British military team recommends the preparation of contingency plans for an evacuation centre in the north for 2500 people. Team also produces plan for full evacuation. 5000 people evacuated from Montserrat until 7 September 1995.
Sep 95 - March 96
Start of dome building activity and first small pyroclastic flow
Plymouth evacuated for a second time, 6000 people relocated to the North. The capital is reoccupied a month later.
March 96 - June 96
Dome Collapses and pyroclastic flows. Dome growth switches to west side of the volcano
Third and final evacuation of Plymouth. Increased risk to commercial activity in Plymouth
July 96 - September 96
Increased activity builds and first explosive eruption occurs with no warning
Houses destroyed at Long Ground.
October 96 - April 97
Continued dome growth and collapse of the Galways Wall
Scientific prediction that volcano is threat to neighbouring islands due to the possibility of a tsunami (tidal wave).
May 97 -
July 97
Large pyroclastic flow marks the beginning of heightened activity
Nineteen people killed in Exclusion Zone. Villages destroyed Airport closed
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