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Montserrat is a small island in the Caribbean. There is a volcanic area located in the south of the island on Soufriere Hills called Chances Peak. Before 1995 it had been dormant for over 300 years. In 1995 the volcano began to give off warning signs of an eruption (small earthquakes and eruptions of dust and ash). Once Chances Peak had woken up it then remained active for five years. The most intense eruptions occurred in 1997. During this time, Montserrat was devastated by pyroclastic flows. The small population of the island (11,000 people) was evacuated in 1995 to the north of Montserrat as well as to neighbouring islands and the UK. Despite the evacuations, 19 people were killed by the eruptions as a small group of people chose to stay behind to watch over their crops.

BBC (British Bradcasting Corporation)Report

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Key Facts

Key Facts:

Key Facts
Official name: Montserrat
Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II; represented by Governor Elizabeth Carriere (from 5 Aug 2015)
Head of government: Premier Donaldson Romeo (sworn in 12 Sep 2014)
Ruling party: People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) (from 11 Sep 2014)
Area: 102 square km
Population: 4,922 (2011; census figure) (An estimated 8,000 citizens left the island when volcanic eruptions began in 1995; numbers have yet to return to former levels).
Capital: Plymouth – destroyed by volcano in 1997; temporary headquarters at Brades while Little Bay is being developed as the new capital.
Official language: English
Currency: East Caribbean dollar (EC$) = 100 cents
Exchange rate: EC$2.70 per US$ (fixed)
GDP: US$60.37 million (2012)*
Balance of trade: -US$30.17 million (2012)*
* estimated figure

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