The Soufriere Hills volcano remained dormant until its first eruption in 1995 covered the island with steam and ash, triggering a large evacuation. In 1997, there was a larger eruption with mudflows and pyroclastic activity, causing the abandonment of Plymouth and the W.H. Bramble Airport.
An exclusion zone has been established, blocking the entire southeastern portion of the island. It also includes part of the ocean.
Even though two-thirds of the population around the volcano have relocated, the residents have gathered on the northern part of the island. Tourism continues to thrive.
Visitors can view this active volcano from a safe distance at several vantage points on the island, including Jack Boy Hill, Garibaldi Hill and the Montserrat Volcano Observatory.
Called the "modern day Pompeii," Plymouth is half buried in volcanic matter. The former capital city looks like a lunar landscape, full of deep canyons and large boulders. The city is part of an exclusion zone, and people are not allowed to access it directly.