Home / Central America / Montserrat / Montserrat: an island with a destructive volcano

Montserrat: an island with a destructive volcano

This post is also available in: Deutsch

Montserrat Island is a British overseas territory located in the Caribbean in the Lesser Antilles. The island is located south-west of Antigua, south-east of Nevis and north-west of Guadeloupe. The island is mountainous and reaches its maximum height with the Soufrière Hills volcano (915 meters).


This volcano is still active. Since 1995 the volcano has suffered numerous eruptions. In one of these eruptions the capital of the island, the city of Plymouth, was completely destroyed. A part of the population has been evacuated. Only in the northern part of the island are the inhabitants allowed to live today. The southern part of the island is almost completely devastated by volcanic eruptions. The economy of the island is based on agriculture. It mainly grows sugar cane, limes, cotton, tomatoes, vegetables. Other economic activities are fishing, financial activities and tourism.

Montserrat was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493 during his second voyage. The name was given to it by Columbus in honor of the Montserrat Monastery in Catalonia. The island was left unoccupied for over a century. It was not until 1632 that a group of Irish settlers established a permanent settlement on the island and developed, with the help of slaves, the cultivation of sugar cane. The island always remained under English control except for a short period in 1782 when it was occupied by the French.

The climate of Montserrat.

  • Area: 102 sqkm. (Arable 20%, Pastures 10%, Forests and Woodlands 40%, Uncultivated and Unproductive 30%)
  • Population: 4,600 (2019 data) (Africans, Mulattos (descendants of European and African), Europeans 3%).
  • State Capital: Plymouth (Abandoned in 1997 following a volcanic eruption, the seat of government now is Brades).
  • Language: Official language is English.
  • Religion: Christian 100% (Anglican, Methodist, Adventist, Pentecostal, Baptist, Catholic).
  • Currency: East Caribbean Dollar (XCD)
  • Time: UTC -4 hours.

This post is also available in: Deutsch