Friday, February 19, 2010

Endangered Green Turtle killed by Montserrat's Volcano

Caribbean Helicopter Pilot Greg Scott, took this photo recently as he made a stop with scientists to an area that had recently been covered by an ultra hot pyroclastic flow. The area is along the North East side of the Caribbean island of Montserrat and as they inspected the shoreline there days after the eruption, temperatures just below the surface were still above 200c. This unfortunate green turtle washed up on the shore after being killed by the massive eruption which happened on Feb 11th 2010. According to reports there was quite a wave of superheated ash in the massive pyroclastic flow that came down over the water and into the sea. Of course among many species of wildlife that would have been in the area would have been turtles like this one which feed and live in the area. On the island there were many other animals and plants that were killed this time as well. There was no human lives lost because of the evacuation ordered by government and careful work done by the scientists there. The 6 satellite photos below (click on the image for bigger version) show the huge plume of ash as it explodes from Montserrat. Photo 1 shows the start of the eruption on the 11th. Here in Antigua we were very lucky not to have had more ash particles landing on us than we received. As the sat images show, most of the ash moved east between Guadeloupe and Antigua. My boats still had a thin layer of ash all over them. What a mess!

This photo taken from 6000 feet by Greg shows the area hardest hit by this recent eruption. This was where the old abandoned airport was up up until the 11th. It is now totally covered by as and rocks. In the photo you can see new coastline that was created by the new flow as well.

This photo was taken a day or two after the eruption and shows water boiling around the newly formed coastline. You can even see geysers spouting over the top of what was once ocean.

According to greg and the international scientists there, this volcano is far from being done! Caribbean Helicopters takes guests there on trips most week days.