Plymouth, Pompeii, UK

When talking about prof A buried city Under the lava, almost everyone automatically thinks of me City of PompeiiDestroyed by Vesuvius in AD 79. The case of Plymouth City was less well known and much more recent in time To the right remains The capital of Montserrat Despite the fact that no one has lived there for more than two decades and among the landscapes with a mixture of ash and lava flows, some buildings stand out randomly.

Montserrat is a British Overseas Territory located in Caribbean SeaNear Puerto Rico. In an area of ​​just over 100 square kilometers, it has about 5,000 inhabitants, and most of its residents work in Agriculture, hunting or tourism. Perhaps the most striking thing about that island is the presence of three volcanoes on its small surface, something that recently left an indelible mark in its history, for the worse.

Disaster begins in Plymouth

In 1995 Montserrat It housed approximately 15,000 people. Just over a third of them reside in Plymouth, where most of the commercial companies are also located on the island Its airport and commercial dock. Life passed quietly until, in July, without previous seismic activity, a launch Soufriere volcano. In the beginning it was ash that appeared, not just the city but the entire south of the island. The situation got worse in the following weeks, and in August, the first lava flow destroyed nearly 80% of the capital.

The main core of economic activity was severely damaged, and in such a small place the displacement was immediately noticeable. Most of the inhabitants of the city and other nearby settlements They were taken to the north of the island, To other countries or even to the same thing United kingdom. The government was moved to the town of Prades, and although a package of economic aid was launched from the British state to boost activity on the island and move forward with cleaning up the ashes, this was not sufficient for the scale of the disaster that it just suffered. Event.

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Although the situation was disastrous, the worst was yet to come. In 1997 there was an outbreak more violent than its predecessors. In this latest eruption, the hills partially collapsed, creating ash clouds as high as 6,000 meters, affecting the neighboring islands of Antigua and Guadalupe. What was not damaged by previous eruptions was definitely destroyed by the latter, and at some points The lava left sediments up to 12 meters high. The few people who remained in the capital were permanently evacuated, and in this forcible transfer, 19 people perished under pyroclastic flows.

Montserrat today

Despite the fact that more than two decades have passed since the eruption of the volcano The island has not been able to regain its daily lifeAs if two parallel worlds coexist in it. To get an idea of ​​the effect of this eruption, it suffices to mention that the surface of the island increased after the disaster, as there were areas around the southern coast where lava spread from the sea, although they are areas that It will not be inhabitable for decades.

In the surprisingly green north of the island, tourism continues to arrive and people continue to engage in fishing and agriculture, as if nothing had happened. On the island there is a file The restricted access strip is about three kilometers wide Exclusively for residents, which can only be entered during sunny hours and as long as you wear masks or helmets to protect yourself from falling debris.

But the south has become a no-go zone, as no entry is allowed. Ash and mud make the land uninhabitable, at least until the area is cleaned up extensively. Of these, only the tallest buildings stand out in some areas, and when the wind blows the weather becomes unbreathable. Not only was Plymouth destroyed and buried, but also 32 settlements Nearby, also in ruins. In this exclusion zone, which covers nearly two-thirds of the island, access is completely blocked by the government. You may enter only for scientific purposes, and always at your own risk. Few elements someday indicate that There was a human presence among the solid lava remnantsAnd the environment, according to those who visited it, is completely bleak, with classic silence accompanied by the absence of human and even animal life. Like a mixture of modern Pompeii and the wasteland of Chernobyl, Plymouth has become a cemetery covered in ash that will not come to life for decades.

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