Damage assessment following the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano in Montserrat

Issued by the CDERA Coordinating Unit:
There was a very large explosion around 10:45 pm Saturday July 12 at the Soufriere Hills volcano causing ash and pumice to fall island-wide. Ash falls were also reported in neighbouring Participating States of Antigua, Anguilla, St Kitts/Nevis as well as in the non-Participating States of the St Croix and Saint Maarten.


The community of Salem, in central Montserrat, has been seriously affected. Damage caused by the ash falls was mainly to vehicles, buildings with light roofs, trees, coastal flora and fauna.
Drinking water is available, though one pump has been damaged. Utility poles have fallen and some power lines are down in some areas. Telephone service has also been disrupted in parts of the island.

All critical life-line facilities, namely the air and sea ports and the hospital are intact. However, the hospital is in need of masks and protective clothing.
Island-wide clean-up is underway as scientists said that the major event was over though small explosions could occur intermittently over the next days or weeks.

Government offices are closed today as well as some of the private sector.


There were no major casualties. One person was slightly injured by stones from a rock fall.


No impact reported.


Ashfalls all over the island but no damage to infrastructure reported. The airport has been closed.


No damage to infrastructure. The island experienced a thin layer of loose ash which has covered the island affecting particularly homes, vehicles, vegetation. In the capital Basseterre a cloud of ash hangs over the city which is being stirred up by traffic. The airport was closed Sunday and has partially re-opened this morning. Many passengers are stranded from the cancellation of flights Sunday.

Updated information is also available at www.cdera.org.