24 Years On Montserrat Remembers June 25 1997

Today, when the clock strikes at 12:55 p.m., at exactly that time 24 years ago, on Wednesday June 25, 1997; two years after the start of volcanic activity, Montserrat changed forever.

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Today, when the clock strikes at 12:55 p.m., at exactly that time 24 years ago, on Wednesday June 25, 1997; two years after the start of volcanic activity, Montserrat changed forever.

The scientific report which was produced noted that in the following 25 minutes, a series of devastating pyroclastic flows swept the northern flanks of the volcano, down Mosquito Ghaut and followed the Paradise River almost to the sea.

In addition to the loss of lives, 150 houses were destroyed.  The villages of Streatham, Dyers, Harris, Bethel, Bramble, Trants, Farms and Spanish Point were severely affected.

The following persons lost their lives on that tragic day:

  1. Alwin Allen
  2. Winston Allen
  3. Horace Boatswain 
  4. Joseph Brown
  5. Claudette Celestine
  6. Felina Celestine
  7. Melville Cuffy
  8. Beryl Grant
  9. Edith Greenaway
  10. Joseph Greenaway
  11. Mary Bernadine Harris
  12. Alicia Joseph 
  13. Allister Joseph
  14. Isolyn Lewis
  15. Keighly Ponde
  16. Wilbert O’garro 
  17. Philip Robinson
  18. Virginia Sutton
  19. Joseph Tuitt-White

The persons who perished were in the eastern corridors where the fertile lands were located, engaging in sustenance farming, to supply not only their households, but also the wider Montserrat community.

In 25 minutes the course of our lives was altered, and so we understand how unpredictable life is and in the last 2 years COVID-19 has reinforced that sentiment. 

So today let us moan their loss, but also praise their lives and their contributions to the society of Montserrat.

May their souls rest in eternal peace.

Photo Credit: Montserrat Volcano Observatory

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