 Continued from previous page The standard of road maintenance was very high. Telecommunications were as modern as any other Caribbean territory when the volcano became active. When the eruption started, the population was 10,500. It was estimated to have fallen to 2,500 at the end of 1997. Today the estimate is 5,000. There has been a significant influx of persons from Jamaica, Guyana, The Dominican Republic and Haiti. Despite its non-independent status, Montserrat enjoyed and still enjoys a high degree of autonomy. It is a full member of both CARICOM and the OECS unlike the other Overseas Territories in the region. It is served by a wide variety of regional agencies, including CARICAD. Its local development strategy has remained fundamentally within the control of the locally elected government. A tradition of democratically conducted elections and peaceful transitions of government have marked its political landscape during the last 50 years. St. George’s Anglican Church Harris Village – destroyed by an explosive event. The people of Montserrat had enjoyed a worldwide reputation for hospitality and friendliness. It was a reputation that was earned and fiercely defended. The island was also developing a reputation for excellence in certain performing arts, notably, music and singing, in which it had at least one celebrated, globally recognised recording star, the Mighty Arrow of “Hot, Hot, Hot” fame. The protracted, visible, perceptible volcanic events continued for 10 years and had many negative effects, including:  Loss of life (19 people died in a single event)  Injuries – some endured volcanic burns from some incidents  Damage to and destruction of public infrastructure  The capital town and many villages were effectively buried beyond recognition or occupancy  The original airport for commercial flights was put out of use  Widespread destruction of homes and personal property  Damage to and destruction of subsistence and cash crops  Extensive damage to natural forests  Disruption of productive capacity in manufacturing  Disruption and decimation of social activities, sporting and cultural events  Loss of livelihoods  Disruption of essential services  Damage to and disruption of government systems  Extensive economic losses  Sociological, emotional and psychological impacts  Continues on next page 15

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