Thursday, November 06, 2008

After the volcano

Of course we did take some time out to ogle the volcanic destruction on Montserrat. This photo is a view across what used to be a lovely golf course in the Belham Valley toward what surely used to be a lovely home. You can see the top of the volcano in the background. This volcano is different from others I have seen before in that it spews mud and ash (in a pyroclastic flow) instead of molten rock. While the river of super-hot mud is just as destructive and deadly as a river of molten lava, the result looks quite different from what you might see on Hawai'i for example. The dust gets into and onto everything.

We had one exciting moment when the volcano warning system loudspeakers announced that an eruption was imminent and we were to evacuate immediately. This was indeed possible, as an eruption had happened a week or so before we arrived. However, the timing was suspicious in that it happened exactly when the noon bell was due, and in fact later we heard that someone pushed the wrong button.


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