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Soufriere Hills Montserrat
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Soufriere Hills, Montserrat

March 10, 2004
Days of seismic and volcanic activity finally reached critical mass on March 3, 2004, when Soufriere Hills Volcano's lava-dome collapsed and an explosion sent an ash cloud roughly six kilometers up into the atmosphere, shown here in this true-color image from March 5, 2004. In this image, the ash plume is shown drifting southwestward from the summit of the volcano. Flows of hot ash, gasses, and rocks poured down the eastern flank of the volcano and along the Tar River. Though no ash fell in populated areas, earthquakes continued to shake the ground for hours, and a second, minor explosion with ash venting occurred mid-morning on March 5. Soufriere Hills sits on the southern half of the island of Montserrat in the West Indies. Well-documented reports of eruptions have been coming in since 1995.


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