Montserrat Volcano Facts: Lesson for Kids

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

The island of Montserrat has an active volcano and is part of a group of volcanic islands in the Caribbean Sea. Come learn about this volcano, where you can find it on a map, what city it destroyed, and some other interesting facts about it. Updated: 02/08/2022

What Is the Montserrat Volcano?

Imagine visiting a Caribbean island with golden sand and blue water. You aren't paying attention to the mountains in the distance, but suddenly you hear rumbling. You look around and see a cloud of ash billowing toward you. You'd better get out of there fast because one of those mountains is a volcano!

The Soufriere Hills volcano is an active volcano on the southern part of the island of Montserrat. For a long time, it was dormant, meaning it did not erupt. In fact, it had been dormant since the 1600s before it erupted in 1995. And it still erupts today.

To find Montserrat on a map, we need to look southeast from Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Sea.

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  • 0:04 What Is the Montserrat…
  • 0:44 A Dangerous Island
  • 1:49 Type of Volcano
  • 2:12 Volcano Safety
  • 2:42 Lesson Summary
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A Dangerous Island

Though Monserrat looks like a beautiful island, its volcano destroyed the capital city of Plymouth and the southern part of the island during a huge, terrible eruption in 1997. The city was covered in stinky, gritty ash that belched out of the volcano and is not good to breathe.

Pyroclastic flows poured through the city. They are a very hot mix of ash, rocks, dust, and gas, and can move as fast as 450 miles per hour. That's more than twice as fast as a race car, so you can't outrun it! The flow caught trees and buildings on fire as it moved toward the sea. Plymouth was destroyed and people still haven't moved back. More than half of the people who lived on Montserrat decided to get off the island after the big eruption. Imagine how empty your town would be if more than half the people suddenly left.

Since then, people have slowly returned and started to rebuild. Because the volcano is still active today, people now live only on the northern part of the island where it's safer, but they still have to be aware of what the volcano is doing.

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