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English and Irish colonists from St. Kitts first settled on Montserrat in 1632; the first African slaves arrived three decades later. The British and French fought for possession of the island for most of the 18th century, but it finally was confirmed as a British possession in 1783. The island's sugar plantation economy was converted to small farm landholdings in the mid 19th century. Much of this island was devastated and two-thirds of the population fled abroad because of the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano that began on 18 July 1995. Montserrat has endured volcanic activity since, with the last eruption occurring in July 2003.


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Geography

Location
Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, southeast of Puerto Rico

Geographic coordinates
16 45 N, 62 12 W

Map references
Central America and the Caribbean

Area World Ranking: 225
Total 102 sq km
Land 102 sq km
Water 0 sq km

Area - comparative
About 0.6 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries
0 km

Coastline
40 km

Maritime claims
Territorial sea 3 nm
Exclusive fishing zone 200 nm

Climate
Tropical; little daily or seasonal temperature variation

Terrain
Volcanic island, mostly mountainous, with small coastal lowland

Elevation extremes
Lowest point Caribbean Sea 0 m
Highest point
Lava dome in English's Crater (in the Soufriere Hills volcanic complex) estimated at over 930 m (2006)

Natural resources
NEGL

Land use
Arable land 20%
Permanent crops 0%
Other 80% (2005)

Irrigated land
NA

Natural hazards
Volcanic eruptions; severe hurricanes (June to November)
Volcanism
Soufriere Hills volcano (elev. 915 m), has erupted continuously since 1995; a massive eruption in 1997 destroyed most of the capital, Plymouth, and resulted in approximately half of the island becoming uninhabitable

Environment - current issues
Land erosion occurs on slopes that have been cleared for cultivation

Geography - note
The island is entirely volcanic in origin and comprised of three major volcanic centers of differing ages


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Montserrat [ United Kingdom ] (Overseas Territory):


GPS points from Montserrat [ United Kingdom ] (Overseas Territory)

Brimm's Ghaut Parish Of Saint Peter

Tuitt's And Bethel Estate Parish Of Saint Georges

Upser Parish Of Saint Anthony

Jubilee Town Parish Of Saint Anthony

Judy Piece Parish Of Saint Georges

Mango Hill Parish Of Saint Georges

White's Bottom Ghaut Parish Of Saint Georges

Pea Ghaut Parish Of Saint Georges




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