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Plymouth (Montserrat)

Travel Guide Caribbean Montserrat Plymouth

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Introduction

Destroyed Plymouth, the former capital

Destroyed Plymouth, the former capital

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Plymouth on Montserrat is the only capital in the world that actually does not exist (anymore). A city with a story that began in July 1995 when series of massive eruptions of nearby Soufrière Hills volcano endangered most of the southern half of the island with lava and ashes, including Plymouth. Although people were only evacuated in December of that same year and sent back to Plymouth a few months later, the end of Plymouth really began on the 25th of June 1997 when a huge eruption produced pyroclastic flows that killed 19 people. People were evacuated again and anoter series of eruptions destroyed approximately 80% of the city at the beginning of August that same year. Plymouth was buried under almost 1,5 meters of ash. Since then, the town has been abandoned as living here is virtually impossible and together with much of the island it was claimed a exclusion zone. Up until now, people still are not allowed to go here, except a small peace between the safe and the exclusion zone, where people are allowed only during the day. Since then, many people have been living elsewhere on the island, but even more are living outside Montserrat. Although the government of Plymouth was replaced to Brades in the north, Plymouth still is the de jure capital because even over 10 years after the disaster, no new capital has been formally created or named.

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Weather

Plymouth has a hot and humid tropical climate with average daytime temperatures between 28 and 30 degrees Celcius and average nights around 23 degrees Celcius. Most rain falls between June and October with a change of hurricanes from August onwards. Therefore, the drier (and slightly cooler) December to April period is the best time to visit weatherwise.

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Getting There

Since years, Plymouth, as well as the surrouding area on the southern part of Montserrat has been off limits for travellers. Only scientists and other people with special permission can go into the exclusion zone. There used to be a zone which you could only enter at daylight, but even this small transition zone has been closed.
The best way to see Plymouth is from a hill on the most southern tip which is accessible by (4wd) car or from the sea.

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This is version 6. Last edited at 8:26 on Aug 12, 09 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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