Part 2, Touring the devistation.
The fury of Mother Nature’s can be brutally destructive, but at the same time create something amazingly beautiful.
In the picture above we are standing on top of 20+ feet of lava and ash. This is where the golf course was located before the first eruption. We are standing facing the volcano. Everything between here and there has been buried. New plants are starting to grow in the nutrient rich volcanic soil.
Over 200 yards of volcanic run off has stretched into the sea and has formed a beautiful new black sand beach. See the picture of before and after the volcano from Chris Doyle’s book in Part 1.
The white rocks on the beach are so light that they float.
After walking along the new beach, we stopped by a house along the road that was built on top of the ash. George told us to take a closer look at the house. What we were seeing was actually the second floor!!! This two story house was a very large, fancy home that bordered the golf course. It is now completely buried to the 2nd floor.
Next we drove into the restricted area that overlooks the capital city of Plymouth.
The brown area is the capital city. Ash is still falling and the only thing you can see are rooftops on top of the ash.
Notice the helicopter in the photo. The Soufriere Hills volcano is currently the most researched volcano in the world.
The gully in the center of the picture is an area that has been washed away by rain and rushing water. It’s over 20′ deep. You can also see, in the above picture, how much smoke and ash are still in the air.
The hillside in the distance is full of buried houses.
This house had a bolder fall from the sky and go through the roof.
This house was burned by the heat.
We pulled into a posh hotel that overlooked the beach. Before the volcano it was one of the nicest hotels on the island. The fancy tiled driveway has been cleared off to show the detail that a guest would expect as they were pulling into the resort.
In this picture below, you can see a big hole in the roof where a boulder landed. Tyler is walking down the steps into the main lobby.
The lobby was covered in several inches of ash. The adding machine was still on the counter.
The office behind the main lobby still had a desk and papers around.
The main dinning room was just around the corner from the lobby.
Plants were starting to grow in the ash. The ash was several inches thick. This is the area off of the main dining room where the boulder crashed through the roof.
The terrace and patio around the pool overlooked the ocean.
The deep end of the pool was 9′ deep. It is now filled with ash and plants are growing.
Notice the ladder going into the pool on the right side of the picture below.
We went into a couple of the hotel’s rooms.
When we walked out of the hotel rooms, George told us to look back. We were walking through the second story. The first story was completely buried!!! See the picture below.
The view of the volcano and the town of Plymouth from the hotel put everything into a different perspective. The feelings and emotions we felt were overwhelming.
Viewing the destruction of the hotel close up and then seeing that same distruction, looking over thousands of buildings, as far as your eyes could see was unimaginable. It’s very hard to describe. Those roof tops we were seeing ARE people’s homes, businesses, local bars, restaraunts, children’s schools, playgrounds… The entire town covered in 10-20 feet (or more) of ash and after 20+ years it is still falling over the town.
The entire city is buried in ash. This isn’t Pompeii and a city buried 2000 years ago. This is today and this is home to the people of Monserrat.
The people from Monserrat are some of the friendliest people we have ever met. Everyone we passed said hello or have a nice day. Most people asked us if we were enjoying their island. We felt very safe there too. Everyone asked us if we would be back, and our answer was always, YES!
I encourage anyone who can visit the Island of Monserrat, to do so. You will not be disappointed.
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