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TTC Special. Tourism: volcanoes are bad and good news

TTC Special. Tourism: volcanoes are bad and good news

Soufrière Hills was activated in 1995 and still is. Foto: industryandtravel/123RF

By Frank Martin

TTC Service.- Monserrat has a unique tourist attraction.

The Soufrière Hills volcano is still active and complex with many lava domes that form its summit in the middle of the Caribbean island.

The Caribbean has some volcanoes that match their Soufriere names, which means “sulfur output” in French.

But the Monserrat volcano is incomparable due to its consequences.

Soufrière Hills was activated in 1995 and still is.

Its most damaging result is that it left more than half of the island uninhabitable when it destroyed its capital city, Plymouth. Since then, two thirds of the population have left the island.

But for those who have stayed on the island, the volcano has another meaning: tourism.

But the ghost town of Plymouth of disturbing tranquility and absence of life, including animals, especially birds, cannot frighten the curious, who are not few and come from all over the world.

Helicopter trips are offered, a medium widely used in the peculiar tourism industry of that island, a British overseas territory located southeast of the island of Puerto Rico.

Jack Boy Hill is the best place to observe from the ground a panoramic view of the cone of the volcano.

It is a very harsh landscape that includes the international airport of Monserrat destroyed by an eruption.

The volcano is jealously monitored by the Montserrat Observatory. Gas emissions of this volcano are measured by a multicomponent gas analyzer system, which detects the pre-eruptive degassing of ascending magmas, improving the forecasts of their outbreaks.

Bad news
These days, volcanoes around the world remind human beings that they can suddenly erase the well-being of a great vacation trip.

It is the case of the White Island of New Zealand. As soon as his eruption began last week, five people died.

At that time it was believed that less than 50 people had been on or near the volcano when it erupted, including about 30 passengers on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

A total of 23 people were rescued from the island.

The place is visited regularly by groups of tourists.

But specialists wonder why trips to the active volcano were allowed despite an alert that was already in effect.

Known in Maori as Whakaari, that is “The dramatic volcano,” the one on White Island is the most active in New Zealand and has had several eruptions over the years, including one in 2016.

Nevertheless Monserrat is a great attraction.

Its inhabitants are a clear example of the human challenge to nature.

For example, Little Bay is a city under construction in Monserrat to be the future capital of the island.

Experts believe that human challenge to natural threats is a necessary reaction.

The Caribbean faces furious hurricanes and other natural phenomena every year, including telluric movements.

None of the disasters that may have occurred have put an end to the thriving tourism industry, which has not stopped growing in recent decades.

Neither do volcanoes. For example, Kick ’em Jenny “is an underwater volcano located eight kilometers off the north coast of the largest island in Granada.

A growing seismic activity last year alerted the authorities.

The government of Granada ordered that ships sailing in the area be kept away from the “Kick ’em Jenny”.

The alert rose from yellow to orange the same day. An exclusion zone of five kilometers around the volcano was imposed.

More than a year later, tourists continue to arrive in Granada no matter what.