On July 18,1995, the Soufriere Hills volcano in Montserrat erupted for the first time in recorded history. The eruption began with intense fumarolic venting and phreatic explosions following 3 years of elevated seismicity. An andesite lava dome emerged on November 15, 1995, and continued to grow, with several periods of copious pyroclastic flow generation and an explosive eruption on September 17, 1996. The largest pyroclastic flows to date (on June 25, 1997) and a period of vulcanian explosions with fountain collapse (during early August 1997) indicate continued escalation of the eruption.
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