Volcano activity rocks Montserrat

SALEM, Montserrat -- Tourism authorities here reported recovery efforts are under way following a series of eruptions that rocked the island's dangerously active Soufriere Hills volcano earlier this week.

Director of Tourism Ernestine Cassell told the Caribbean Tourism Organization that everything is being done to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.

The CTO said Cassell reported that rains Tuesday night had washed away some ash, while road crews were busy clearing roads while the government of the British territory began assessing total damage.

The dome of the volcano collapsed July 13, hurling rock and ash down onto the island, and dust as high as 40,000 feet, disrupting air traffic; a series of at least three explosions then followed over the next two days, accompanied by heavy rains, said the Monserrat Volcano Observatory.

According to British Broadcasting Co. reports, most debris fell well away from the "safe zone" to which many residents retreated after a devastating 1995 eruption; another eruption in 1997 destroyed many southern areas of the island, including the capital of Plymouth.

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