The self-governing British overseas territory of Montserrat is striving to rebuild after being rendered partly uninhabitable by volcanic eruptions.
Part of the Leeward Islands chain, Montserrat has been plagued by sporadic ash falls and lava flows since 1995 when the Soufriere Hills volcano erupted for the first time in centuries.
A major eruption in 1997 killed 19 people, devastating the south of the island and burying the capital, Plymouth. More than half the population left.
Once an economic mainstay, tourism was badly hit and Montserrat has relied heavily upon British and EU aid, with a new airport inaugurated in 2005.
Named by the voyager Christopher Columbus in 1493, the island became an English colony in 1632. Most Montserratians are of African descent.
The Montserrat Oriole, galliwasps (lizards) and mountain chickens – edible frogs found in the highlands – are among the island’s notable or endangered species.
The Beautiful Montenegro You Have to Visit to Appreciate
- Republic of Montenegro
- Capital: Podgorica
- Population: 632,000 (UN 2011)
- Area: 13,812 sq km (5,333 sq miles)
- Main religions: Christianity, IslamLanguages: Serbian,
- MontenegrinLife expectancy: 73 years (men), 77 years (women) (UN)
- Monetary unit: euro
- Main export: Aluminium
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